The four-Test series between Australia and India starting in Adelaide on 9 December sees the hosts aiming to reduce South Africa’s lead at the top of the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings, and India looking to improve its sixth position. Australia is currently ranked second on 117 ratings points, seven points adrift of the Proteas, while India is 21 ratings points behind in sixth position, on 96 ratings points. Michael Clarke’s men must win the series to maintain the side’s hold on the second position and thereby, close the gap with leader South Africa.
If the Australians are to win the series 4-0, it would close the gap on the South Africans to four ratings points, with the Indians dropping to seventh, while a 3-1 win will reduce the Proteas’ lead to six ratings points. In contrast, a 4-0 win for the visitors would see them rise to 107 ratings points, one behind the Aussies. A 3-1 series victory, meanwhile, would see it join England on 104 points, although Alastair Cook’s side would hold a slender 0.4 point advantage when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.
A 2-2 series deadlock will see both sides maintaining their pre-series rankings, although Australia would drop to 114 points while India will rise to 99 ratings points. Number-one ranked South Africa will face the West Indies in a three-match Test series that starts on 17 December at Centurion.
Meanwhile, Australia opener David Warner in sixth place will start the series as the highest-ranked batsman from either side in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen. The left-hander is five ratings points adrift of South Africa’s Hashim Amla. In all, there are three Australia batsmen in the top 20, with Michael Clarke (11th) and Steven Smith (13th) also aiming for upwards movement.
Heading into the series, India’s highest-ranked batsmen are Cheteshwar Pujara (17th), Virat Kohli (27th) and MS Dhoni (30th). In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Ryan Harris (second) is the highest ranked bowler, 54 points behind number-one ranked Dale Steyn and two places ahead of his team-mate Mitchell Johnson (fourth). India’s highest-ranked bowler is 28-year-old off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (12th), two rankings spots ahead of Peter Siddle.
India’s Ashwin is in second position in the ICC Player Rankings for Test All-rounders, 41 points adrift of Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan. ICC Cricketer of the Year Mitchell Johnson lies in fifth place, 15 points shy of England’s Stuart Broad.