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Age old Ashes rivals eye Test rankings boost

Top world stars from England and Australia braced to battle in Cardiff opener

Age old Ashes rivals eye Test rankings boost - Cricket News
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The latest instalment in the Ashes rivalry between England and Australia starts in Cardiff on Wednesday as the two sides bid to hold possession of the prestigious Urn in what is expected to be a keenly-contested and hard-fought five-Test series.
 
England is currently sitting in fifth place on 97 ratings points, trailing India and ahead of Pakistan by a fraction of a point, while Australia is in second spot on 111 ratings points. This means England has an opportunity to move to as high as second if it wins the series by 3-0 or better, but will drop to as low as seventh if Australia wins all the five Tests.
 
In contrast, Australia will jump to 118 points to reduce the gap with number-one ranked South Africa to 12 points but will drop to fourth if England wins all the five Tests and irrespective of how the Pallekele Test ends. In fact, a 3-0 or 4-1 result in the favour of England will mean Australia will drop behind England in third position.
 
The following are the permutations for the forthcoming Ashes series:
 
England (97 pts) v Australia (111 pts)
 
·       If Eng wins 5-0, then Aus 99 pts, Eng 108 pts
·       If Eng wins 4-1, then Aus 102 pts, Eng 105 pts
·       If Eng wins 3-2, then Aus 106 pts, Eng 102 pts
·       If Aus wins 5-0, then Eng 91 pts, Aus 118 pts
·       If Aus wins 4-1, then Eng 94 pts, Aus 115 pts
·       If Aus wins 3-2, then Eng 97 pts, Aus 112 pts
·       If the series is drawn 2-2, then Eng 100 pts, Aus 109 pts
 
To find out exactly how the forthcoming series will affect the rankings table, please click hereThe Test rankings table, unlike the ODI & T20I tables, is updated after the series.
 
The clash in the Welsh capital will be the 321st Test which dates back to 1882. Australia has won 128 matches compared to England’s 103, with 89 draws to date.
 
Though Australia secured a five-nil clean sweep last time out, recent form would indicate that triumph favours the home side as England has won four of the last six Ashes, including the last three consecutive home series (in 2005, 2009 and 2013). Australia last won on English soil back in 2001 (4-1).
 
ICC Test Player Rankings
 
Australia vice-captain Steven Smith will defend his number-one ranking in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen as he holds a five-point advantage over South Africa’s AB de Villiers. Smith had leapfrogged de Villiers following the Jamaica Test against the West Indies but his failure to produce another strong performance in Cardiff will potentially see the South African return to the top of the charts.
 
Smith is joined in the top 10 by ninth-placed David Warner, who holds a two-point lead over India captain Virat Kohli. Joe Root is England’s highest-ranked batsman in sixth place and his next innings will be his 50th in Test cricket. The Yorkshireman has played in 27 Tests to date and has accumulated 2,273 runs at an average of 54.11.

Michael Clarke, in 13th place, has featured in 30 Ashes Tests to date since making his debut in the 2005 series, incidentally the most on either side, and his tally of 2,109 runs includes seven centuries and seven half-centuries. Clarke is three places ahead of his opposite number Alastair Cook who will be looking to reduce the New South Wales man’s 11-point advantage in the rankings.

The next highest-ranked batsmen from either side, who are likely to feature in the series, are:  Chris Rogers (23rd), Gary Ballance (32nd), Ian Bell (34th), Shane Watson (43rd) Ben Stokes (44th) and Jos Buttler (50th).


 
In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, second-ranked James Anderson is the highest wicket-taker in English history (403 to date) and the leading bowler heading into the series on 824 points. Anderson is 10 points clear of New Zealand’s Trent Boult, but will have some work to do to reduce Dale Steyn’s commanding lead.
 
Following Ryan Harris’ retirement, fifth-placed Mitchell Johnson is Australia’s leading bowler on 803 points, 21 points ahead of Stuart Broad who is sitting in sixth position. Australia duo of Peter Siddle (15th) and Nathan Lyon (17th) are the other bowlers inside the top 20.
 
The next highest-ranked bowlers in the series on either side are Mitchell Starc (21st), Josh Hazlewood (28th) and Shane Watson and Moeen Ali, who are tied for 38th position.
 
Johnson, in fourth spot, is the leading all-rounder on either side in the ICC Player Rankings for Test All-rounders heading into the five-match series and he goes into the series with a 16-point advantage over Broad, who is fifth.
 
Upcoming Test fixtures
 
England v Australia
8-12 Jul – 1st Test, Cardiff
16-20 Jul – 2nd Test, Lord’s
29 Jul-2 Aug – 3rd Test, Edgbaston
6-10 Aug – 4th Test, Trent Bridge
20-24 Aug – 5th Test, The Oval
 
ICC Test Team Rankings (as on 6 July, ahead of England-Australia Test series and before the conclusion of Sri Lanka-Pakistan Test series)
1.     South Africa               130
2.     Australia                     111
3.     New Zealand               99
4.     India                            97
5.     England                       97
6.     Pakistan                      97
7.     Sri Lanka                    96
8.     West Indies                 81
9.     Bangladesh                 41
10.  Zimbabwe                   5

(Developed by David Kendix)
 
ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 6 July, ahead of England-Australia Test series and before the conclusion of Sri Lanka-Pakistan Test series)
Batsmen
 
Rank     Player                  Team     Points       Ave        HS Rating
   1          Steven Smith       Aus        913!      56.23    913 v WI at Jamaica 2015
   2          AB de Villiers     SA          908       52.09    935 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2014
   3          Hashim Amla      SA          891       52.78    907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013
   4          K. Sangakkara     SL          883       58.04    938 v Eng at Kandy 2007
   5          Angelo Mathews SL          847       51.33    877 v NZ at Christchurch 2014
   6          Joe Root                              Eng        815       54.11    872 v NZ at Lord's 2015
   7          K. Williamson     NZ          813       45.70    860 v Eng at Lord's 2015
   8          Younus Khan      Pak         808       53.33    880 v SL at Lahore 2009
   9          David Warner     Aus        757       46.82    880 v Ind at Adelaide 2014
  10         Virat Kohli          Ind         755       45.73    784 v NZ at Wellington 2014

Selected Rankings
 
Rank      Player                 Team     Points       Ave        HS Rating
 13         Michael Clarke   Aus        726       50.66    900 v SL at Melbourne 2012
  16         Alastair Cook      Eng        715       46.87    874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012
  23         Chris Rogers       Aus        664*     39.35    694 v Eng at Sydney 2014
  32         Gary Ballance     Eng        591*     52.19    702 v WI at Grenada 2015
  34         Ian Bell                Eng        578       43.77    822 v Ind at The Oval 2011
  43         Shane Watson     Aus        525       35.40    729 v Eng at Perth 2010
  44         Ben Stokes          Eng        524*     34.15    540 v NZ at Lord's 2015
  50         Jos Buttler           Eng        494*!    52.66    494 v NZ at Headingley 2015
  53         Brad Haddin        Aus        478       33.37    637 v WI at Perth 2009
  54         Shaun Marsh       Aus        472*!    35.79    472 v WI at Jamaica 2015
  60         Adam Voges        Aus        441*!    167.00  441 v WI at Jamaica 2015
  82         M. Johnson          Aus        352       22.80    477 v Eng at Lord's 2009
  84         Moeen Ali           Eng        346*     28.50    385 v NZ at Lord's 2015
  85         Stuart Broad        Eng        341       23.08    505 v Ind at The Oval 2011
  89         Adam Lyth          Eng        323*!    37.50    323 v NZ at Headingley 2015
  91         Mitchell Starc     Aus        314*     27.27    368 v Eng at The Oval 2013
  95         Mitchell Marsh   Aus        291*     37.42    322 v Ind at Adelaide 2014

Bowlers
 
Rank       Player               Team     Points    Ave        HS Rating
   1          Dale Steyn           SA          905       22.55    909 v WI at Centurion 2014
   2          James Anderson Eng        824       29.42    847 v WI at Barbados 2015
   3          Trent Boult          NZ          814       27.12    825 v Eng at Lord's 2015
   4          Ryan Harris         Aus        810       23.52    870 v SA at Cape Town 2014
   5          M. Johnson          Aus        803       27.58    849 v Pak at Dubai 2014
   6          Stuart Broad        Eng        782       29.77    783 v WI at Lord's 2012
   7          V. Philander        SA          780       21.95    912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013
   8          Rangana Herath  SL          760       30.17    851 v Pak at Colombo (SSC) 2014
   9          Yasir Shah           Pak         750*!    25.11    750 v SL at Colombo (PSS) 2015
  10         Morne Morkel    SA          727       29.35    776 v Aus at Cape Town 2011

Selected Rankings
 
Rank      Player                 Team     Points    Ave        HS Rating
  15         Peter Siddle         Aus        634       30.45    816 v Eng at Old Trafford 2013
  17         Nathan Lyon       Aus        595       34.73    648 v Eng at Melbourne 2013
  21         Mitchell Starc     Aus        545*!    32.20    545 v WI at Jamaica 2015
  28         Josh Hazlewood Aus        506*!    19.08    506 v WI at Jamaica 2015
  38=      Shane Watson     Aus        413*     33.05    633 v SA at Cape Town 2011
               Moeen Ali           Eng        413*     32.60    458 v NZ at Lord's 2015
  56         Ben Stokes          Eng        304*     43.24    352 v Ind at Lord's 2014
  67         Mark Wood         Eng        261*!    33.22    261 v NZ at Headingley 2015
  92         Steven Smith       Aus        143*     51.73    181 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2014
  95         Joe Root               Eng        123*     45.25    140 v NZ at Lord's 2015
  97         Michael Clarke   Aus        122*     38.19    265 v NZ at Wellington 2005

All-rounders
 
Rank      Player                  Team     Points    HS Rating
   1          Shakib Al Hasan Ban        381       419 v Zim at Khulna 2014
   2          V. Philander        SA          341*/    376 v Aus at Cape Town 2014
   3          R. Ashwin            Ind         336*/    419 v WI at Mumbai 2013
   4          M. Johnson          Aus        283       384 v Eng at Cardiff 2009
   5          Stuart Broad        Eng        267       382 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2012

*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.
 
!indicates career-highest rating

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