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Shuffling of the pack on the cards as India hosts number one-ranked South Africa and second-ranked Australia takes on New Zealand

One-ranked South Africa locks horns with fifth-ranked India in a four-match series and number two-ranked Australia hosts sixth-ranked New Zealand in a three-match series

Shuffling of the pack on the cards as India hosts number one-ranked South Africa and second-ranked Australia takes on New Zealand - Cricket News
The very best of Test cricket continues this month when number one-ranked South Africa locks horns with fifth-ranked India in a four-match series and number two-ranked Australia hosts sixth-ranked New Zealand in a three-match series, including the first-ever day/night Test in Adelaide. Both series will begin on Thursday, 5 November.
 
These four sides, as well as fourth-ranked Pakistan and third-ranked England, who are battling for supremacy in the Sharjah Test, are separated by just 26 points on the ICC Test Championship.
 
But all this could change, depending on how the three series pan out.
 
If Pakistan wins the final Test, then it will move marginally ahead of Australia into second place for the first time in nearly in a decade, while England will drop behind New Zealand to sixth position by a fraction of a point. In the case of England winning the Test, both sides will retain their pre-series rankings and points.
 
The ICC Test Championship table will then be updated at the end of Australia-New Zealand series, which means Australia will have to win the series by 1-0 or better to ensure it stays ahead of Pakistan (if Pakistan wins 2-0). In this series, Australia can rise to as high as 110 points, but can also drop to as low as 99 points.
 
In contrast, New Zealand will gain seven points if it wins 3-0 but will slip to 94 if Australia sweeps the series.
 
The next update of the ICC Test Championship table will take place following the conclusion of the India-South Africa series.
 
In this series, India will have an opportunity to climb to second position, a fraction of a point behind South Africa. However, to make it happen, it will have to win all four Tests. On the other side of the coin, South Africa will vault to 130 points and India will plummet to 96 points if the visitors win all four Tests.
 
The following are the series permutations
 
Pak v Eng scenarios Pakistan points England points
Pre-series 101 (4th) 102 (3rd)
Pak 2 Eng 0 106 99
Pak 1 Eng 1 101 102
Pak 1 Eng 0 105 100
 
Aus v NZ scenarios Australia points New Zealand points
Pre-series 106 (2nd) 99 (6th)
Aus 3 NZ 0 110 94
Aus 2 NZ 0 109 95
Aus 1 NZ 0 OR Aus 2 NZ  108 97
1    
Aus 0 NZ 1 OR Aus 1 NZ 2 102 103
Aus 0 NZ 2 101 105
Aus 0 NZ 3 99 106
Aus 1 NZ 1 105 100
 
Ind v SA scenarios India points South Africa points
Pre-series 100 (5th) 125 (1st)
Ind 4 SA 0 112 (2nd, by fraction of a point) 112 (1st, by fraction of a point
Ind 3 SA 0 110 114
Ind 2 SA 0 OR Ind 3 SA 1 109 116
Ind 1 SA 0 OR Ind 2 SA 1 107 118
Ind 0 SA 1 OR Ind 1 SA 2 101 124
Ind 0 SA 2 OR Ind 1 SA 3 100 126
Ind 0 SA 3 98 128
Ind 0 SA 4 96 130
Ind 2 SA 2 OR Ind 1 SA 1 104 121

Like the ICC Test Championship table, the ICC Test Player Rankings are also up for major reshuffle as the bulk of the star performers will be in action over the next few weeks.
 
Although the ICC Test Player Rankings will be updated following the conclusion of the Sharjah Test, it is safe to pre-empt that there is likely to be movement near the top of the table between leading contenders Joe Root of England and Australia captain Steven Smith on the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen.
 
Root and Smith have been involved in the fight for the number-one slot since the Trent Bridge Test. And because there is such a small gap between the two batsmen, neither of them has been able to retain the slot for an extended period of time.
 
Breathing down the throats of Root and Smith are the South African duo of Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers, who are separated by just nine points, with team-mate Faf du Plessis sitting in 16th spot.
 
Kane Williamson of New Zealand and Australia’s David Warner are the other batsmen inside the top 10 with Black Caps’ Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum in 13th and 15th positions respectively.
 
India captain Virat Kohli is his side’s highest-ranked batsman in 13th position and is accompanied by Cheteshwar Pujara (19th) and Murali Vijay (20th) inside the top 20.
 
Led by number one-ranked Dale Steyn, South Africa boasts Vernon Philander (seventh) and Morne Morkel (11th) inside the top 20 with Imran Tahir in 59th spot. For India, Ravichandran Ashwin (eighth) and Ishant Sharma (19th) are inside the top 20, while the next highest-ranked bowler is Ravindra Jadeja in 30th spot, followed by Amit Mishra (38th), Umesh Yadav (42nd) and Varun Aaron (86th).
 
The New Zealand batsmen will face a real challenge as five Australia bowlers feature inside the top 20. These include Mitchell Johnson (sixth), Peter Siddle (13th), Josh Hazlewood (16th), Nathan Lyon (17th) and Mitchell Starc (20th).
 
Fifth-ranked Trent Boult will spearhead New Zealand’s bowling attack, which also includes Tim Southee (10th), Mark Craig (39th) and Doug Bracewell (40th).
 
The all-rounders’ category includes three players who will feature in Australia and India, including Ashwin (second), Philander (fourth) and Johnson (fifth).
 
The ICC Test Player Rankings will be updated after the conclusion of the Sharjah Test.
 
Series schedule
 
India v South Africa
5-9 Nov – 1st Test, Mohali
14-18 Nov – 2nd Test, Bengaluru
25-29 Nov – 3rd Test, Nagpur
3-7 Dec – 4th Test, New Delhi
 
Australia v New Zealand
5-9 Nov – 1st Test, Brisbane
13-17 Nov – 2nd Test, Perth
27 Nov-1 Dec – 3rd Test, Adelaide (d/n)
 
ICC Test Championship table (before the start of India-South Africa and Australia-New Zealand Test series and before the end of Pakistan-England Test series)
 
Rank   Team               Points
1          South Africa      125
2          Australia            106
3          England            102
4          Pakistan            101
5          India                 100
6          New Zealand     99
7          Sri Lanka           89
8          West Indies       81
9          Bangladesh       47
10        Zimbabwe         5
 
(Developed by David Kendix)
 
ICC Test Player Rankings (before the start of India-South Africa and Australia-New Zealand Test series and before the end of Pakistan-England Test series)
 
Batsmen (top 20)
 
Rank    Player              Team    Pts       Ave      HS Rating
   1       Joe Root                      Eng      913       56.79   917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015
   2       Steven Smith    Aus      910       56.27   936 v Eng at Lord's 2015
   3       AB de Villiers    SA        890       52.09   935 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2014
   4       Hashim Amla     SA        881       52.48   907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013
   5       Younus Khan    Pak      854       54.31   880 v SL at Lahore 2009
   6       Angelo Mathews  SL        851       51.43   877 v NZ at Christchurch 2014
   7       Kane Williamson   NZ        813       45.70   860 v Eng at Lord's 2015
   8       Alastair Cook    Eng      783       47.39   874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012
   9       David Warner    Aus      775       46.78   880 v Ind at Adelaide 2014
  10       Misbah-ul-Haq   Pak      757       48.77   842 v NZ at Abu Dhabi 2014
  11       Asad Shafiq      Pak      746!     43.89   746 v Eng at Dubai 2015
  12       Virat Kohli         Ind        730       45.06   784 v NZ at Wellington 2014
  13       Ross Taylor      NZ        722       44.99   871 v WI at Hamilton 2013
  14       S Chanderpaul  WI        720       51.37   901 v NZ at Napier 2008
  15       B McCullum      NZ        715       38.76   760 v SL at Christchurch 2014
  16       Faf du Plessis   SA        709*     51.55   710 v WI at Port Elizabeth 2014
  17       Azhar Ali           Pak      697       44.06   753 v SL at Pallekele 2012
  18       Sarfraz Ahmed  Pak      689*     46.96   715 v SL at Galle 2015
  19       C Pujara            Ind        681       49.28   851 v SA at Durban 2013
  20       Murali Vijay       Ind        680       41.72   689 v Ban at Fatullah 2015
 
Other selected rankings
 
Rank    Player              Team    Pts       Avge    HS Rating
  22       Ajinkya Rahane Ind        661*     43.64   699 v SL at Colombo (PSS) 2015
  24       BJ Watling        NZ        644!     40.71   644 v Eng at Headingley 2015
  32       Shikhar Dhawan  Ind        581*     44.53   593 v SL at Galle 2015
  38       Tom Latham      NZ        534*     39.52   569 v Pak at Dubai 2014
  39       Dean Elgar        SA        533*!    39.42   533 v Ban at Mirpur 2015
  41       JP Duminy        SA        524       35.55   586 v SL at Galle 2014
  46       Rohit Sharma    Ind        507*     37.82   578 v NZ at Wellington 2014
  48       R Ashwin          Ind        457       32.44   527 v Eng at Old Trafford 2014
  49       Adam Voges     Aus      455*!    46.00   455 v Eng at The Oval 2
 
Bowlers (top 20)
 
Rank    Player              Team    Pts       Avge    HS Rating
   1       Dale Steyn        SA        905       22.48   909 v WI at Centurion 2014
   2       Yasir Shah        Pak      827*!    24.55   827 v Eng at Dubai 2015
   3       James Anderson Eng      824       29.20   847 v WI at Barbados 2015
   4       Stuart Broad     Eng      817       29.40   852 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015
   5       Trent Boult        NZ        814       27.12   825 v Eng at Lord's 2015
   6       Mitchell Johnson         Aus      773       27.94   849 v Pak at Dubai 2014
   7       Vernon Philander  SA        770       22.13   912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013
   8       R Ashwin          Ind        760       28.44   808 v WI at Mumbai 2013
   9       Rangana Herath SL        751       29.49   851 v Pak at Colombo (SSC) 2014
  10       Tim Southee      NZ        713       31.63   799 v WI at Jamaica 2014
  11       Morne Morkel    SA        705       29.66   776 v Aus at Cape Town 2011
  12       Saeed Ajmal     Pak      675       28.10   855 v Zim at Harare 2013
  13       Peter Siddle      Aus      646       29.87   816 v Eng at Old Trafford 2013
  14       Kemar Roach    WI        642       28.21   774 v SA at Centurion 2014
  15       D Prasad          SL        632*!    35.97   632 v WI at Colombo (PSS) 2015
  16       Josh Hazlewood Aus      628*     21.75   634 v Eng at Trent Bridge 2015
  17       Nathan Lyon      Aus      616       34.09   648 v Eng at Melbourne 2013
  18       Shakib Al Hasan  Ban      614       33.29   700 v Zim at Khulna 2014
  19       Ishant Sharma   Ind        613       36.51   671 v WI at Dominica 2011
  20       Mitchell Starc    Aus      596*     31.80   627 v Eng at Trent Bridge 2015
 
Other selected rankings
 
Rank    Player              Team    Pts       Avge    HS Rating
  25       Neil Wagner      NZ        526*     34.48   549 v WI at Barbados 2014
  30       Ravindra JadejaInd        466*     30.37   570 v SA at Durban 2013
  32       M Shami           Ind        449*     36.14   467 v Aus at Sydney 2015
  39       Mark Craig        NZ        404*!    40.02   404 v Eng at Headingley 2015
  40       Doug Bracewell NZ        401*     35.10   538 v WI at Jamaica 2012
  42       Umesh Yadav   Ind        389*     38.56   412 v Aus at Melbourne 2014
  52       B Kumar           Ind        339*     35.00   443 v Eng at Old Trafford 2014
  59       Imran Tahir        SA        295*     46.39   312 v Pak at Dubai 2013
 
All-rounders (top five)
 
Rank    Player                 Team    Pts       HS Rating
   1       Shakib Al Hasan    Ban      384      419 v Zim at Khulna 2014
   2       R Ashwin               Ind        347      419 v WI at Mumbai 2013
   3       Vernon Philander    SA        337*/    376 v Aus at Cape Town 2014
   4       Stuart Broad           Eng      301      382 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2012
   5       Mitchell Johnson     Aus      263      384 v Eng at Cardiff 2009
 
*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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