India vs South Africa 2019: How the ICC Test Rankings could change based on the results
India will take on South Africa in the first game of the three-match Test series on October 2, 2019. Last time these two sides met was in South Africa where the Proteas managed to inflict a 2-1 series win in a three-match series in 2018. Thus, Virat Kohli and his men will look to avenge the defeat as they kick off the new home season.
The Proteas took quite a beating the last time they toured India when they were completely outdone in that four-match series. India defeated them 3-0 and registered massive wins in all three games. Juxtaposed to that side in the 2015/16 season, the current Proteas team is a lot more inexperienced now.
Given that the series features two of the top three Test sides in the world, there is a lot at stake when it comes to the rankings.
How the ranking system works
Based on the results of the games that they play, each team is awarded a few points by the Iinternational Cricket Council. The rating that each team gets is equal to the total points scored divided by the total matches and the series played. There is a certain criterion here which states that the series must include at least two games and it should be played in the last four years.
For a Test win, a team is awarded 1 point while both the sides get 1/2 point each in case the game is drawn. In addition to these points, the side that clinches the series gets an additional 1 bonus point.
If the series is drawn, both the teams share 1/2 point each. Depending upon the gap (in terms of the rating points) between the two teams that play the series, further calculations are done to give the actual rating points which in turn reflect in the rankings.
India's position as the top ranked Test team is potentially under threat, should they lose two games in the upcoming series. On the other hand, South Africa will further slide down the rankings if they fail to pick up a victory against India.
Here is an analysis of where the two teams could end on the rankings at the end of this series.
Scenario 1: India wins the series
India currently are on top with 114 rating points while South Africa occupy the third place with 109. If India win the series 1-0, they finish the series at 117 rating points and keep the top rank. The Proteas, on the other hand, will lose three points. At 106 rating points, they'll still be at the third position.
If India win the series 2-0, the team will soar high at 118 rating points. South Africa will go down to 104 rating points which will be nearly equal to England's (#4 side) rating points. However, the side will keep the number 3 spot due to a slightly better decimal point margin.
If South Africa get whitewashed in the series, they slip down to the fourth place with 102 rating points. On the other hand, India will manage to widen the gap between the first and the second spot by 10 rating points. The side will finish at 119 rating points.
Even if the series finishes with a 2-1 scoreline in favour of India, there won't be any threat to the home team's rank. While India will finish with 117 rating points, South Africa will end up having 106 rating points.
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