Chance for England to bridge gap with New Zealand in series against Pakistan

England would be looking to close in on fourth-placed New Zealand in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings in an upcoming two-Test home series while Pakistan could overtake England if they pull off victories in both matches at Lord’s (24-28 May) and Headingley (1-5 June).

A 2-0 win for England will lift them to 101 points and within one point of New Zealand, with Pakistan losing six points with such a verdict and slipping to 81. A 1-0 series win will see England gain one point and reach 99 while Pakistan will be on 83 points, four points below their present tally of 87 points.

A drawn series will see England lose one point and Pakistan gain one point, while Pakistan will improve substantially if they win the series. A 1-0 series win will lift Pakistan by six points to 93 points and just one point below England while a 2-0 result will see them overtake England to reach 95 points

Series scenarios:

  • England win 2-0 – England 101 points, Pakistan 81
  • England win 1-0 – England 99, Pakistan 83
  • Drawn series – England 97, Pakistan 88
  • Pakistan win 1-0 – England 94, Pakistan 93
  • Pakistan win 2-0 – Pakistan 95, England 93

In the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings, England captain Joe Root is the leading batsman from either side at third position and would be looking to inch back towards the 900-point mark, which he had held on to until September last year, and close the gap of 45 points with India captain Virat Kohli (912).

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow (13th), experienced opener Alastair Cook (16th) and all-rounder Ben Stokes (25th) are their other leading batsmen.

The seaming home conditions will also give fast bowler James Anderson a chance to seize back the top position as only six points separate him from South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, while 12th-ranked Stuart Broad would be looking to move into the top 10.

Pakistan opener Azhar Ali (12th) dropped two places after the recent one-off Test against Ireland and this series provides him the opportunity to regain a place in the top 10 while Asad Shafiq (32nd) would be similarly looking to move up after dropping seven places following the Dublin Test.

Pace bowlers Mohammad Assad (29th) and Mohammad Amir (37th) would be relishing the prospect of playing in English conditions after tuning up well for the series including a good account in the Dublin Test.

Series schedule:

  • 24-28 May – 1st Test, Lord’s, London
  • 1-5 June – 2nd Test, Headingley, Leeds

The Test team rankings, unlike the ODI and T20I rankings, are updated after the end of the series and the Test predictor function is available here.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings (as of 22 May, before the England-Pakistan Test series)

  1. India 125 points
  2. South Africa 112 points
  3. Australia 106 points
  4. New Zealand 102 points
  5. England 98 points
  6. Sri Lanka 94 points
  7. Pakistan 87 points
  8. Bangladesh 75 points
  9. Windies 67 points
  10. Zimbabwe 2 points

Also played: Ireland – 1 match, 0 points

Yet to play their first Test: Afghanistan.

England v India, 1st Specsavers Test match, Edgbaston

England take on India in the first of a five match Specsavers Test series at Edgbaston, starting on Wednesday 1 August.

Please click the link for ticket and further match info.

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