Chance for Pakistan to top the Test rankings for the first time

Chance for Pakistan to top the Test rankings for the first time

Mohammad Amir
Pakistan’s bowler Mohammad Amir. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

There are a lot of Test matches played all over the cricketing arena now – with India playing against West Indies, Pakistan on their away tour to England, the World Champions Australia are taking on Sri Lanka and New Zealand is in Zimbabwe. And this opens the door for a lot of things to change in the Test rankings.

Currently, one of the most important aspects is that the Pakistan cap topples Australia from the no.1 spot, if Pakistan beat England and Sri Lanka defeat Australia, then Pakistan will claim the number one ranking for the first time in their history. This is irrespective of what happens in the India-West Indies series and New Zealand-Zimbabwe series.

If India wins the series 4-0, the England-Pakistan series ends in a draw and Sri Lanka beat Australia 1-0 or better, then India will jump to the number one position, the ICC stated in a press release. India won the first match and is leading the series 1-0.

Australia captain Steve Smith received the ICC Test Championship mace and USD 1 million in prize money for being No.1 in Test Team Rankings on the annual April 1 cut-off date. To permanently shut the door on their nearest rivals India, Australia needs to beat Sri Lanka by 1-0 or better and at the same time hope that England wins, at least, one Test against Pakistan.

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“The mace is a symbol of excellence and recognition of a side’s outstanding achievement in the toughest format of the sport. Australia’s winning performances have been exceptional and they thoroughly deserve to be awarded the mace,” said the ICC Chief Executive David Richardson.

“These are exciting times for Test cricket as the top four ranked countries are involved in high profile series across three different continents showcasing the very best this format of the sport has to offer. I am sure the incentive of achieving the number one ranking will further motivate them, bringing out the best in the players,” added Richardson.

After receiving the Test championship mace, Smith said, “It is a huge honour to be the number one ranked Test side in the world and the credit should go to all the work the players and support staff have put in over the last 12 months.”

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“I am really proud of our young team and what we have accomplished so far but there is still more we would like to achieve. We now need to put in consistent performances, both at home and away, to continue to be successful and keep the number one ranking.

“Winning away from home has often been a challenge for us, especially in sub-continental conditions, but this is something we are looking to change in this upcoming series against Sri Lanka,” concluded Smith.

England too can top the Test rankings if England can win the remaining three Tests against Pakistan and hope West Indies win, at least, one Test against India and Sri Lanka beat Australia.

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