New Zealand are poised to go top of the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings if they can complete a series win over Pakistan, but either of Australia or India could go past them with a series win of their own.
The rating points for teams are calculated on a series-by-series basis, with the rankings updated accordingly at the end of a series. That means that a series win for New Zealand would immediately send them top, with Australia and India not receiving points for their series until it is concluded.
A draw in the second Test against Pakistan would send New Zealand to 117 rating points, moving them ahead of Australia who currently sit less than 0.1 of a rating point ahead of their trans-Tasman rivals. If Kane Williamson’s side can secure a 2-0 series win then they will move to 118 rating points.
But occupation of the No.1 spot could be a fleeting moment for the Kiwis. Regardless of New Zealand’s result against Pakistan, if either India or Australia can win both remaining Test matches in their series, and thus claim a 3-1 series victory, then they will move into pole position with 119 or 121 rating points respectively.
🔥 A match-defining knock from Ajinkya Rahane
🔥 A strong bowling performance
India put up an all-round show in Melbourne to level the series 1-1 with an eight-wicket win 👏 #AUSvIND report 👇
— ICC (@ICC) December 29, 2020
A 2-1 series win would also be enough for Tim Paine’s side to go top, as they would have 119 rating points.
Should New Zealand draw their second Test against Pakistan then a 2-1 result would also be enough for India, but such a result following a New Zealand win would see the Kiwis come out on top by less than one rating point (118.4 v 117.7).
A 2-2 draw between India and Australia would leave New Zealand top as long as the Black Caps are able to avoid defeat against Pakistan in Christchurch.
Further down the rankings there’s also potential for change, with South Africa set to leapfrog Sri Lanka to claim the No.5 spot if they can secure a series win following their innings victory at Centurion.
|NZ 2-0 Pak||NZ 1-0 Pak||NZ 1-1 Pak|
|Aus 3-1 Ind
Aus 2-1 Ind
|Aus 2-2 Ind
Aus 1-1 Ind
|NEW ZEALAND||NEW ZEALAND||AUSTRALIA|
|Aus 1-2 Ind||NEW ZEALAND||INDIA||INDIA|
|Aus 1-3 Ind||INDIA||INDIA||INDIA|