Pakistan Out To Consolidate Third Place In Test Rankings

Third-ranked Pakistan has a chance to reduce the gap further on second-ranked Australia in the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings when it faces New Zealand in the three-Test series, which starts at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.  A 3-0 series win over New Zealand will earn Misbah-ul-Haq’s side five ratings points, thus reducing Australia’s lead to seven points.  A 2-0 win for the hosts will see them reduce the deficit to nine points, while a 1-0 victory will see Pakistan gain a solitary ratings point.

A drawn series will result in Pakistan swapping positions with England, while New Zealand will improve its rankings point by one.  In contrast, a one-nil victory for seventh-placed New Zealand see it leapfrog India into sixth position with Pakistan dropping to fifth position. A 2-0 win will push New Zealand into fifth place with Pakistan slipping to sixth spot.  South Africa’s current seven-point lead at the summit will not be affected, however, the top of the table could see movement when South Africa welcome West Indies in a three-Test series, and MS Dhoni’s India travels Down Under to face Australia in a four-Test series.

Both the series start next month.  Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan has become the top-ranked all-rounder in the ICC Players Rankings for Test All-Rounders after joining the exclusive company of England’s Ian Botham and Imran Khan of Pakistan by scoring a century and taking 10 wickets in the match.  In doing so, Shakib displaced India’s Ravichandran Ashwin and has also moved up six places to 30th in the batting rankings and four places to a career-high 14th position in the bowling rankings.

There were a number of upward movements in the rankings arising from Bangladesh’s 162 runs victory in Khulna, with the home side’s Momimul Haque moving up a place to a career-high 32nd position.  Zimbabwe’s Hamilton Masakadza is the highest mover by 24 places to 43rd place after scores of 158 and 61.  Bangladesh spinner Taijul Islam has improved his rankings by eight places to 33rd after accumulating match figures of six wickets for 140.

Tinashe Panyangara is Zimbabwe’s highest-ranked bowler after moving up three places to a career high 41st position, while Malcolm Waller has propelled 67 places to 78th position after claiming six wickets in the match.  Having clinched the series with one Test remaining, Bangladesh can already look forward to moving up the Test team rankings once the series is complete following the Third Test which starts on Wednesday in Chittagong.