Team India’s number-one Test ranking scenario involves Pakistan, who play the West Indies in a three-Test series which begins next Thursday in the UAE, a day after the conclusion of the India v New Zealand 2016 Test series. India’s arch-rivals Pakistan were the No. 1 Test side until India’s series-clinching victory against New Zealand at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata helped Virat Kohli‘s India become the top-ranked Test side.
Going into the Indore Test, the third and final of the home Test series against the Blackcaps, India have a rating of 113. But the battle to become the No. 1 Test team, between India and Pakistan, is delicately poised.
Read on… to understand what India need to do in the final Test in Indore, to consolidate their No. 1 position.
Team India’s Number-one Test Ranking Scenario
With an unassailable 2-0 lead behind them in the three-Test series versus New Zealand, India currently have a rating of 113, two better than Pakistan’s (111).
Now, from Pakistan’s viewpoint, even if they beat Jason Holder’s men 3-0, the maximum possible rating they can achieve is 112.
The Indore Test, which begins tomorrow, is a pivotal one for the ambitious hosts, who have to either beat the Blackcaps in the final Test as well and win the series 3-0, the scoreline that will propel India’s current rating up to 115, or at the very least, draw the Indore Test. In which case, India’s current rating of 113 will remain intact.
Here comes the most interesting part of India’s number-one Test ranking scenario: if New Zealand play well consistently over five days, which they weren’t able to in Kanpur and Kolkata, and beat India, then the 2-1 series scoreline will affect India’s quest to be the No. 1 Test side at the culmination of this Test series against New Zealand.
If indeed the Test series between India and New Zealand finishes 2-1, India’s rating will drop to 111 and Pakistan can sneak ahead by whitewashing the West Indies 3-0, as they will then have a better rating (112) than India.
How are the ICC rating points calculated?
All Test teams are assigned points for every Test match they play, with a team gaining one point for a Test win, 0.5 for a drawn Test and an additional point in the case of a series win. The final rating is the average of the points accrued over a 36-month period.
The Holkar Stadium in Indore is set to host its first-ever Test match and even though the final Test may be a dead rubber in the eyes of many, Team India, as you can see, have a lot to play for.