ICC Test Rankings: Pakistan become No.1 for the first time ever

Pakistan Test Team
Pakistan had held England to a 2-2 draw away from home

In a historic achievement for Pakistan cricket, their Test team has reached the number one spot in the ICC rankings for the first time ever. Misbah ul Haq’s side grabbed pole position after the final Test between West Indies and India in Port of Spain was called off due to a damp outfield.

Following a 0-3 whitewash at the hands of Sri Lanka, Australia had fallen down to number three which meant that India displaced them at the top. However, Virat Kohli’s team needed a 3-0 victory in the Caribbean to retain their number one ranking.

A heavy thunderstorm coupled with inadequate drainage facilities at Queen’s Park Oval resulted in only 22 overs of action being possible for the entire duration of the fourth Test. Even though bright sunshine and blue skies adorned the venue for the final four days, the outfield was not deemed safe enough to play.

As a result, the Indians had to be content with a 2-0 series victory even as they conceded the top spot to arch-rivals Pakistan who recently held England to a 2-2 draw away from home.

Due to security reasons, Pakistan have not been able to play in their home soil since the 2009 terror attack on the visiting Sri Lankans. Despite building a formidable record in UAE since then, captain Misbah opened up on the agony of his country-men.

Also Read: All Misbah's men – Why Pakistan's captain deserves wholehearted applause

Following their emphatic win at The Oval which helped them level the series, the 42-year old had said, “This team deserves that for six years of not playing any games at home. Sometimes, people think it's really easy for us playing in the UAE. They think the wickets suit us and we win there. But just living every day away from your country, without your family and friends, and playing every game away from Pakistan, is really difficult. It's mentally tough.”

Aside from the annual update, the rankings are revised after every Test series. They factor in all matches played over the previous 4-year period with the first two years carrying 50 percent weightage and the most recent two bearing a 100 percent weightage.

Since being introduced in June 2003, the number one Test spot has been achieved by Australia (thrice), India (thrice), South Africa (twice) and England (once). When ICC applied the same formula to retrospective matches, it was revealed that Pakistan would have grabbed pole position once under Imran Khan’s captaincy from August to September 1988.

After hosting West Indies in UAE, Pakistan face a tough task in retaining their numero uno position as testing tours to New Zealand and Australia arrive on the horizon. On the other hand, India have as many as 13 Tests lined up in their upcoming home season and could eye a return to the number one spot in the near future.

Latest ICC Test Rankings

RankTeamMatchesPointsRating
1Pakistan252767111
2India252748110
3Australia363905108
4England414427108
5New Zealand28277399
6Sri Lanka32305595
7South Africa22201592
8West Indies26174967
9Bangladesh1268757
10Zimbabwe7548

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Edited by Staff Editor
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