Pakistan have the chance to displace Australia as the fourth-ranked team in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Rankings if they beat numero uno South Africa in a two-match series starting on Monday in Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan are currently ranked sixth with 97 ratings points, just two behind fifth-ranked West Indies on 99 and four behind fourth-ranked Australia on 101.
Now, Pakistan have an opportunity to regain the fourth place if they win by one Test or better, thereby pushing Australia into fifth place and West Indies into sixth.
In case of a 1-0 series win, Misbah-ul-Haq‘s side will gain nine rating points to end at 106, the ICC said in a statement.
Pakistan can gain up to 11 ratings points if they win both the Tests and jump to fourth place with 108, thereby gaining seven ratings points lead over Australia and nine ratings lead over West Indies.
South Africa head the rankings table with 135 ratings points and lead Pakistan by 38 ratings points. This gap means Graeme Smith‘s side is favourite to win the two-Test series.
As such, because the rankings are weighted to reflect this difference, if South Africa win both the Tests, then it will gain just one rating point but will lose as many as four ratings points if the series ends in a draw, eight points in case of a 0-1 defeat and 10 points if Pakistan win both the Tests
The Test Rankings table, unlike the ODI Rankings table, is updated only after the conclusion of the series.
Meanwhile, South Africa will enter the series with their players sitting on top of all the three categories of Test rankings.
The rankings for Test Batsmen is headed by Hashim Amla, while Dale Steyn heads the bowlers’ chart with teammate Vernon Philander in second place. Jacques Kallis tops the rankings for Test All-rounders.
For Pakistan Younis Khan, in sixth, is the highest-ranked batsman, while captain Misbah-ul-Haq in 12th and Azhar Ali in 16th are the others inside the top 20. Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal in fourth position is the highest-ranked bowler from his side.