Latest ICC Test rankings: Pakistan slip to seventh following 0-2 defeat against Sri Lanka
What's the story?
In the latest Test rankings released by the International Cricket Council (ICC), Pakistan have slipped to seventh following their humiliating 0-2 series defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The rejuvenated Sri Lankan team, led by Dinesh Chandimal, not only breached Pakistan's adopted fortress but also managed to climb above their opponents to reach the number six position.
India continue to lead the Test rankings with 125 rating points. Having brushed aside a woefully incompetent Bangladesh team in the recently completed series on home soil, South Africa gained only a solitary rating point and retained their second spot at 111 rating points. With 105 rating points, England occupy the third position in the rankings.
Since adopting UAE as their 'home' base in November 2010 as a consequence of security issues in their native place, Pakistan played as many as 9 Test series before suffering their first series defeat in the region.
Grappling with the recent retirements of the iconic duo of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed's troops failed to protect the side's impressive Test record in UAE and ended up getting whitewashed by a Sri Lankan team which had been hammered 0-3 on home soil by the top-ranked Indian team during their previous series.
The heart of the matter
As a result of their memorable 2-0 series victory in UAE, Sri Lanka have gained four rating points to move to sixth in the Test rankings. On the other hand, Pakistan have lost five rating points to plummet to the seventh position.
Even though both New Zealand and Australia sit on 97 rating points, the Kiwis are ranked above their neighbours when the rankings are calculated to decimal points. Despite losing two rating points following their 0-2 whitewash in South Africa, Bangladesh are closing in on the eighth ranked West Indies team with a mere three rating points separating the two teams. With no rating points to speak of, Zimbabwe bring up the rear end of the Test rankings.
Latest ICC Test Rankings
While Pakistan have no Test series scheduled until May next year when they visit England for two matches, Sri Lanka are slated to play a gruelling 3-Test series in India during November and December.
Before the series began, not many gave Sri Lanka a chance to compete let alone win in such an emphatic manner. Chandimal's team deserve high praise for ending Pakistan's ten-year unbeaten home series record in Test cricket. Unless the senior players step up and take responsibility, the future looks rather bleak for Sarfraz's side in the game's purest format.