What teams stand to win and lose in the ICC Test Rankings over the upcoming series
Ranked 2nd currently, India might drop down to 4th or 5th if they do not win convincingly. However, there is a chance of becoming 1st too.
With a lot of Tests lined up over the next few months, the rankings are expected to go through a lot of changes. There is more at stake than usual in teams’ places on the ICC charts, with the division into the two-tier system expected to kick in soon. There remains a possibility that Virat Kohli’s India will climb back to the top of the rankings by the end of their current Caribbean tour.
Currently, Australia lead the pack with 118 rating points, ahead of India, who are on 112. 3rd and 4th Pakistan and England, who are currently engaged in a series on the latter’s soil, are also close behind at 111 and 108 respectively. Over the next month, both Australia and India will be playing away series, with ranking points to lose unless they win convincingly.
5th and 6th New Zealand and South Africa sit at the middle of the rankings table, with 98 and 92 rating points. It will be 7th and 8th Sri Lanka and West Indies who will be playing with a lot to win and lose, more contentiously placed with 85 and 65 points. Bangladesh, who play the least number of Tests, are on 9th with a chance to sneak in, at 57 points.
Sri Lanka are hosting Australia for 3 Tests and India are playing 4 Tests in West Indies. With ranking points weighted by the difference in points between two sides in a Test, the hosts have a lot to gain and the visitors stand a chance of dropping points at the top in both series.
India will have to defeat West Indies by a margin of 3-0 or better to stay at 112 points. Even a 3-1 or 2-0 win for India will see it slip to 110 points. Only by accomplishing a 4-0 wipeout do India stand winning ranking points. A 3-1 or 2-0 win by the West Indies will see them rise to 79 points, with India dropping to fifth with 98. Even if the India-West Indies series is drawn, India drop down to fourth, provided the 4-Test England-Pakistan series does not see a lopsided result.
Australia will have to win at least by 2-0 against seventh-ranked Sri Lanka to ensure they don't go below the current 118 points. Owing to the vast difference in their places on the table, even Sri Lanka's 1-0 win over Australia will earn them seven points and move to 92 while Steve Smith's side will slip to 111 points.
If India manage to win by 3-0 or better, and Australia lose their series against Sri Lanka, and there is an even result between England and Pakistan, India stand the chance of regaining the pole position in the Test rankings, which they had conceded to Australia in February this year.