Lahore: The England Test series is giving Pakistan a great chance for the first time in history to top the Ranking list. In case of an extra ordinary performance either with a clean sweep of 4-0 or even 3-0 would be enough to topple Australia from its top position.
According to details as per ICC’s ranking, Australia holds the first position with 118 points, India is at number two with 112 points, Pakistan with 111 points is at third position, England at fourth with 108 points whereas New Zealand has 98, South Africa 92, Sri Lanka 85, West Indies and Bangladesh have 57 points each.
Considering the weather and English conditions, the experts are declaring England as the ’favorites’ for the Lord’s Test series to be played on Thursday. A clean sweep or 3-0 can bring them to number two position in world ranking. Similarly, Pakistan with an extra ordinary performance stands a chance to surge to the top for the first time in history. In case of a clean sweep 4-0 they will have 121 points and a 3-0 will give them 119 points beating Australia to become the world’s top ranker.
It may be noted that Pakistan’s best performance in England has been a 2-0 win in a three-Test series in 1996. A win for Pakistan in the series by a 2-1 will give them 114 points and a 3-1 will give 115 points bringing them to second position in world ranking but this would also depend on the results of India-West Indies series where India’s win with a big margin could place them at the world’s top position.
England which is only 3 points away from Pakistan also stands a chance to progress, in case of a win by 1-0 or 2-1 can bring the host team to third position with 110 points. Pakistan in such a situation will have to lose 4 points and settle for the fourth position but in case of a 2-0 or 3-1 win, Pakistan will stand parallel to India. Pakistan can dislodge India from its second position if it wins by 3-0 gaining 113 points or a clean sweep with 114 points.
If we have a look at the Batting-Ranking of both the teams, we find England’s Joe Root at fourth place, Younus at fifth, Misbah-ul-Haq at tenth, Alastair(12th), Asad Shafiq (13th), Jonny Bairstow(18th), Sarfraz Ahmad (19th), Azhar Ali (20th), Muhammad Hafeez (22nd), Ben Stokes (37th), Moin Ali (39th) and are aiming to improve their ranking. Younus Khan and Joe Root have a difference of 11 points.
In the Player Rankings of Test bowlers James Anderson is on the top, Stuart Broad at third and Yasir Shah at fourth position, Zulfiqar Babar at (28th), Moin Ali (30th), Rahat Ali (35th), Wahab Riaz (38th) and Imran Khan at (47th) position. James Anderson is being side lined from the Lord’s Test due to his injury and is likely to slip from his top position. Therefore the struggle for ranking during the first Test will be between Stuart Broad and Yasir Shah. One of Pakistan’s key bowler’s Muhammad Amir will be playing his first Test after 6 years and surprisingly there is not a single Pakistani player who stands amongst the list of Top-5 Test All- Rounder’s.