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Australia, India, Pakistan and England: Four contenders for Test No.1 Spot

LONDON: After a good long time, the real essence of Test cricket can be felt among Test nations as for the first time in years, or may be in decades, four teams at a time are contender for Number One spot.

World’s number one in Test Australia is seemingly losing its grip on the spot with two back to back defeats at the hands of minnows Sri Lanka and going down in the three-match series 2-0.

If Australia fails to win or at least draw its third Test, they would most likely lose the title by the end of this month.

As ESPNcricinfo explains ICC’s methodology, the penalty of losing a series to an opponent that is rated low is more than if the opponent were rated higher.

Let us break it for you…
If Australia goes 0-3 down against Sri Lanka (a ranked 7 team in IC Test ranking) will cost them nine points, compared to a probable lost against Pakistan (ranked 3) which would have cost them 6 points even after going 0-3 down.

If Australia loses third Test (God forbid) at the hands of Sri Lanka will drag down former’s ratings to an approximate 108 points.

The Australian melt down in Sri Lanka has given other teams a hope to climb the top notch of Test ranking until next year when ICC announces new Test rankings.

Awaiting an edge from Aussies, England, Pakistan and India are all in the slip quadrant for a catch with a chance of topping the rankings following their ongoing series.

Here is how each of the current top four could end up at No. 1.

Australia: They have to win the Colombo Test to have any chance of retaining their No. 1 ranking. Either England – with a win in the Oval Test – or India – with a 3-0 margin against West Indies – could topple them. Australia can hang on to their top spot even if the Oval Test is drawn and India don’t win by a 3-0 margin.

India: A draw in Kingston means that India have to win their remaining two Tests against West Indies to take the No. 1 spot. A 3-0 margin will bump them up to the top irrespective of results in the other series.

England: A 3-1 series win against Pakistan will give them the No. 1 ranking provided India don’t win by a margin of 3-0 against West Indies. Even a draw in the Oval Test can give them the top spot if Australia don’t win the Colombo Test and India win only one of their remaining two Tests against West Indies.

Pakistan: They have to win the Oval Test and hope India don’t beat West Indies by a margin bigger than 2-0 and Australia don’t win the Colombo Test.

Explained by ESPNcricinfo