India vs West Indies 2018: What India need to do to maintain their No.1 Test ranking
While the Test series against West Indies might only be two matches, it holds a lot of importance as India look to strengthen their grip on the No.1 spot in the ICC Test rankings ahead of their tour of Australia.
India are currently top with 115 points and have a nine-point lead over South Africa who are in second place with 106, the same as Australia in third but ahead by decimal points. While India are involved in a two-match Test series against West Indies at home, Australia travel to the UAE where they will face Pakistan in two Tests starting on October 7.
Here is a look at what India need to do to maintain their No.1 Test ranking:
India beat West Indies, Australia beat Pakistan
If India whitewash West Indies 2-0 or beat them 1-0, then irrespective of the scoreline in the series between Australia and Pakistan, India will remain top. If they win 2-0, they will gain one point and remain on top with 116 points. If India just manage a 1-0 victory then they lose one point and will have 114.
A 2-0 win for Australia would help them close the gap on India and go into second place with 109 points, just seven behind India if India win 2-0. However, the gap will be just five if India beat West Indies 1-0. If Australia win the series but only by a 1-0 margin then they can still climb up to second but will only gain one point and have 107 and depending on whether India win 2-0 or 1-0, they will trail India by nine or seven points respectively.
India draw against West Indies, Australia beat Pakistan
If India draw against West Indies, whether it is 1-1 or 0-0, they will lose three points and will be on 112 points. However, they will still be top as Australia can only climb up to 109 points even with a 2-0 win against Pakistan. If that happens, the gap between first and second will only be three points.
India lose to West Indies, Australia beat Pakistan
Even a 2-0 whitewash at the hands of West Indies at home will not be enough to get India out of top spot unless Australia beat Pakistan 2-0. If Australia and West Indies emerge victorious away from home by a 2-0 margin, then Australia will be top with 109 points, having gained three points while India will lose seven points and be in second with 108 points.
However, if India lose 1-0, they will still be on top, even if Australia beat Pakistan 2-0. In that case, India lose six points. If that happens then India and Australia will both be level on 109 but India will stay No.1 on decimal points.
So for India to remain No.1 heading into their tour against Australia all they need to do is ensure that they avoid a 2-0 loss against the No.8 ranked West Indies.