• A series win will see Australia overtake South Africa to second position, Pakistan can edge Sri Lanka to sixth position with a 2-0 win
• India look to maintain top position in two-match series against the West Indies
• Kohli gets an opportunity to consolidate top position, Azhar, Khawaja, Brathwaite other leading batsmen in upcoming series
• Cummins, Gabriel, Jadeja and Yasir lead the list of bowlers in forthcoming series
Pakistan host Australia for a two-match series in the United Arab Emirates starting Sunday, with both sides having the chance to improve their positions in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Team Rankings.
The series gives Pakistan the opportunity to edge Sri Lanka to sixth position if they are able to complete a 2-0 series win over the opposition, while a 1-0 series win will be enough for Australia to overtake South Africa and claim second position behind India.
Pakistan will move to 97 points if they win both Tests and ahead of Sri Lanka on decimal points while Australia, who are presently on 106 points and behind South Africa only on decimal points, will move ahead with a series win. They will advance to 107 points with a 1-0 win and to 109 points if they prevail 2-0.
In a series that starts earlier on Thursday, India will be looking to ensure they do not lose any points in a bid to maintain their top position. India lead the table with 115 points but only stand to gain one point even with a 2-0 series win owing to the large difference in rating points with the West Indies. On the other hand, India can slip to 108 points with an unlikely 2-0 loss and Australia could overtake them if they defeat Pakistan 2-0.
"My game plan was to be really patient – if it took me the whole day to get my hundred, so be it" – Mitchell Marsh after scoring 162 against Pakistan A in the warm-up match.— ICC (@ICC) October 2, 2018
For the West Indies, even a 2-0 series win will at best help them bridge the gap with Pakistan and Sri Lanka but will not pull them up from their present eighth position.
India v West Indies:
India win 2-0: India 116 points, West Indies 76 points
India win 1-0: India 114, West Indies 78
Drawn series: India 112, West Indies 81
West Indies win 1-0: India 109, West Indies 84
West Indies win 2-0: India 108, West Indies 85
Pakistan v Australia:
Pakistan win 2-0: Pakistan 97 points, Australia 100 points
Pakistan win 1-0: Pakistan 95, Australia 102
Drawn series: Pakistan 90, Australia 105
Australia win 1-0: Pakistan 86, Australia 107
Australia win 2-0: Pakistan 84, Australia 109
"We are going there to do our very best and keep fighting till the very end. You never know what can happen."— ICC (@ICC) September 29, 2018
Windies coach Stuart Law previews his sides contest with India.
In the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, India captain Virat Kohli would be aiming to consolidate his position at the top of the table since he is ahead of Australia captain Steve Smith by only one point. Cheteshwar Pujara (sixth) and Lokesh Rahul (19th) will be other leading India batsmen in the series while the spin pair of Ravindra Jadeja (fourth) and Ravichandran Ashwin (eighth) would be looking to capitalize on home conditions.
The West Indies boast of Kraigg Brathwaite in 13th position while three of their fast bowlers are in the top 20 – Shannon Gabriel (11th), Jason Holder (13th) and Kemar Roach (19th) – and would be hoping to get some help from the Indian wickets.
For Australia, Usman Khawaja is the leading batsman in 20th position in the absence of Smith and David Warner, while Mitchell Starc (joint-14th) and Nathan Lyon (16th) are the leading bowlers.
Pakistan opener Azhar Ali is in 15th position and 672 points, just one behind South Africa’s Hashim Amla, while leg-spinner Yasir Shah, formerly a top-ranked bowler, would be looking to find his way back from 18th position after missing this year’s tour of Ireland and England due to a groin injury. Yasir had taken 12 wickets in a 2-0 series win over Australia in the UAE four years ago.
India v West Indies
4-8 October – 1st Test, Rajkot
12-16 October – 2nd Test, Hyderabad
Pakistan v Australia
7-11 October – 1st Test, Dubai
16-20 October – 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi
The Test team rankings, unlike the ODI and T20I rankings, are updated after the end of the series and the Test predictor function is available here.
MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings (as of 2 October, before the India v West Indies and Pakistan v Australia series):
MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings (as of 2 October, before the India v West Indies and Pakistan v Australia series):
BATSMEN (top 20)
|1||Virat Kohli||Ind||930||53.92||937 v Eng at Southampton 2018|
|2||Steve Smith||Aus||929||61.37||947 v SA at Durban 2018|
|3||Kane Williamson||NZ||847||50.35||893 v Aus at Perth 2015|
|4||Joe Root||Eng||835||51.04||917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015|
|5||David Warner||Aus||820||48.2||880 v NZ at Perth 2015|
|6||C. Pujara||Ind||772||49.57||888 v SL at Nagpur 2017|
|7||D. Karunaratne||SL||754!||37.28||754 v SA at Colombo (SSC) 2018|
|8||D. Chandimal||SL||733||44.96||755 v Win at St Lucia 2018|
|9||Dean Elgar||SA||724||41.05||784 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018|
|10||Alastair Cook||Eng||709||45.35||874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012|
|11||Aiden Markram||SA||703*||47.27||759 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018|
|12||Ross Taylor||NZ||697||47.22||871 v Win at Hamilton 2013|
|13||Kraigg Brathwaite||Win||695||37.94||701 v Eng at Headingley 2017|
|14||Hashim Amla||SA||673||47.23||907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013|
|15||Azhar Ali||Pak||672||44.84||787 v Aus at Melbourne 2016|
|16||Faf du Plessis||SA||665||42.33||734 v Ind at Centurion 2018|
|17||Kusal Mendis||SL||641||36.78||693 v Win at St Lucia 2018|
|18||Jonny Bairstow||Eng||637||37.19||772 v SA at Old Trafford 2017|
|19||Lokesh Rahul||Ind||635||38.53||761 v SL at Pallekele 2017|
|20||Usman Khawaja||Aus||633||42||747 v Pak at Sydney 2017|
BOWLERS (top 20)
|1||James Anderson||Eng||899||26.84||903 v Ind at Lord's 2018|
|2||Kagiso Rabada||SA||882||21.71||902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018|
|3||Vernon Philander||SA||826||21.54||912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013|
|4||Ravindra Jadeja||Ind||814||23.65||899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017|
|5||Pat Cummins||Aus||800*!||23.81||800 v SA at Johannesburg 2018|
|6||Trent Boult||NZ||795||27.84||825 v Eng at Lord's 2015|
|7||Rangana Herath||SL||791||27.95||867 v Zim at Harare 2016|
|8||R. Ashwin||Ind||769||25.59||904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016|
|9||Neil Wagner||NZ||765||28.26||785 v Win at Wellington 2017|
|10||Josh Hazlewood||Aus||759||26.84||863 v Ind at Bengaluru 2017|
|11||Shannon Gabriel||Win||757!||29.57||757 v Ban at Jamaica 2018|
|12||Stuart Broad||Eng||734||28.92||880 v SA at Johannesburg 2016|
|13||Jason Holder||Win||732*!||29.35||732 v Ban at Jamaica 2018|
|14=||Tim Southee||NZ||720||30.82||799 v Win at Jamaica 2014|
|Mitchell Starc||Aus||720||28.17||805 v SA at Durban 2018|
|16||Nathan Lyon||Aus||710||32.21||774 v Eng at Adelaide 2017|
|17||Keshav Maharaj||SA||692*||27.65||695 v Zim at Port Elizabeth 2017|
|18||Yasir Shah||Pak||683||29.44||878 v Eng at Lord's 2016|
|19||Kemar Roach||Win||667||28.31||774 v SA at Centurion 2014|
|20||Shakib Al Hasan||Ban||665||31.87||705 v Aus at Mirpur 2017|
ALL-ROUNDERS (top five)
|1||Shakib Al Hasan||Ban||420||489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017|
|2||Ravindra Jadeja||Ind||383||438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017|
|3||Vernon Philander||SA||370||378 v SL at Galle 2018|
|4||Jason Holder||Win||355/*!||355 v Ban at Jamaica 2018|
|5||R. Ashwin||Ind||343||493 v Eng at Mohali 2016|