Opportunity for England to take a jump in Test team rankings

England enters the series as the No.4 ranked team while the visitors South Africa are No.2.

England captain Alastair Cook
England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Fourth-ranked England will aim to improve its position on the ICC Test Team Rankings when it takes on second-ranked South Africa in a four-Test series starting at Lord’s on Thursday, 6 July. England is presently sitting on 99 points as compared to South Africa’s 117 points. To move ahead of Australia in third place, England will need to win the series by 1-0 or better, while a 4-0 win will put it in second place on 108 points – 15 points behind number-one ranked India.

In contrast, South Africa, which presently trails India by six points, can narrow the gap with India to just one point but to make it happen, it will have to win all the four Tests. On the other side of the coin, if the Proteas side loses all four Tests, then it will drop to third on 106 points.


On a head to head, England will start the series as the favourite as it enjoys a 58-32 advantage over South Africa with 55 Tests ending in draws. In England, the two sides have played 64 Tests, out of which England has won 27 and South Africa 13, with 24 Tests ending in draws. That said, South Africa enjoys a 6-3 advantage over England in England this decade with three matches ending in draws.

Meanwhile, Joe Root in his debut series as England captain will start as the highest-ranked batsman from either side in third place on the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsman.

Root is 32 points behind second-ranked Kane Williamson, but a strong performance in the Lord’s Test can potentially move him ahead of his New Zealand opposite number. In contrast, his South Africa counterpart, Dean Elgar, who will captain in place of Faf du Plessis, will begin in 19th position and can move up the order depending how he performs at Lord’s.

Apart from the two captains, both the sides boast two batsmen each inside the top 20. For England, Jonny Bairstow is ranked 11th and Alistair Cook is 13th, while Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla of South Africa are ranked sixth and ninth respectively.

Outside the top 20 and aiming to improve their rankings are Moeen Ali (24th), Ben Stokes (36th), JP Duminy (38th) and Temba Bavuma (45th).

In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, England’s James Anderson and Stuart Broad, and Kagiso Rabada of South Africa will start in fifth, sixth and seventh places, respectively. The three speedsters are separated by 12 points and will aim to finish inside the top three by the time the series concludes in Manchester on 8 August.

Three spinners lead the bowling table, with Ravindra Jadeja at the top and followed by Ravichandran Ashwin and Rangana Herath. Australia’s Josh Hazlewood is fourth, 16 points ahead of Anderson.

Bowlers outside the top 10 are Vernon Philander (11th), Morne Morkel (14th), Stokes (20th), Chris Woakes (25th) and Moeen Ali (28th) and Keshav Maharaj (38th).

England’s Stokes is the fourth-ranked all-rounder in the list which is headed by Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan. South Africa’s highest-ranked all-rounder is Duminy in 13th place.

Series schedule:

6-10 July – 1st Test, Lord’s

14-18 July – 2nd Test, Trent Bridge

27-31 July – 3rd Test, The Oval

4-8 Aug – 4th Test, Old Trafford


ICC Test Team Rankings

Rank  Team  Points
1 India 123
2 South Africa 117
3 Australia 100
4 England 99
5 New Zealand 97
6 Pakistan 93
7 Sri Lanka 91
8 West Indies 75
9 Bangladesh 69
10 Zimbabwe 0


ICC Test Batsmen’s Rankings

Rank Name Country Rating
1 S.P.D. Smith AUS 941
2 K.S. Williamson NZ 880
3 J.E. Root ENG 848
4 C.A. Pujara IND 846
5 V. Kohli IND 818
6 Q. de Kock SA 802
7 Azhar Ali PAK 769
8 D.A. Warner AUS 759
9 H.M. Amla SA 748
10 K.L. Rahul IND 739


ICC Test Bowlers Rankings

Rank Name Country Rating
1 R.A. Jadeja IND 898
2 R. Ashwin IND 865
3 H.M.R.K.B. Herath SL 854
4 J.R. Hazlewood AUS 826
5 J.M. Anderson ENG 810
6 S.C.J. Broad ENG 803
7 K. Rabada SA 798
8 D.W. Steyn SA 794
9 N. Wagner NZ 745
10 M.A. Starc AUS 742


ICC Test AllRounders Rankings

Rank Name Country Rating
1 Shakib Al Hasan BAN 431
2 R.A. Jadeja IND 422
3 R. Ashwin IND 413
4 B.A. Stokes ENG 327
5 M.A. Starc AUS 318
6 Moeen Ali ENG 312
7 V.D. Philander SA 288
8 H.M.R.K.B. Herath SL 223
9 S.C.J. Broad ENG 219
10 J.O. Holder WI 217