England takes on Pakistan in the upcoming four-Test home series knowing that it is within striking distance of overtaking the opposition in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings.

England, which recently prevailed 2-0 over Sri Lanka in a three-Test home series, is only three points behind Pakistan’s 111 points. This means that margins of 2-1 or 1-0 win will be enough for it to go past Pakistan in the points table, currently led by Australia at 118 points. Either of these results will see England lift to 110 points and Pakistan slip down to 107.

If England prevails 2-0 or 3-1, it will tie with second-placed India at 112 points, which is due to take on the West Indies in a four-Test series that ends a week after the England-Pakistan series. In case England is able to capitalise on the home advantage even better, it can rise to second position to 113 points with a 3-0 win and to 114 if it blanks Pakistan 4-0.

The small difference in points between India, Pakistan and England throws up a number of interesting scenarios.

A win for Pakistan in the series, by a 2-1 or 3-1 margin, will help it leapfrog India into second place, a position it has reached only once since the officials rankings were launched in 2003. That was in November last year when it beat England 2-0 in the United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan even has a chance to surge to the top of the rankings, but to make this happen it will have to win 3-0 or better. Pakistan’s best performance in England has been a 2-0 win in a three-Test series in 1996.

Some of the permutations are:

·       If England wins 2-1 = England 110 and Pakistan 107

·       If England wins 3-1 – England 112 and Pakistan 105

·       If England wins 3-0 – England 113 and Pakistan 103

·       If England wins 4-0 – England 114 and Pakistan 101

·       If Pakistan wins 2-1 – Pakistan 115 and England 106

·       If Pakistan wins 3-1 – Pakistan 117 and England 104

·       If Pakistan wins 3-0 – Pakistan 119 and England 103

·       If Pakistan wins 4-0 – Pakistan 121 and England 102

The predictor function is available here. The Test table is updated at the end of the series, while the ODI and T20I team rankings are updated after each match.

In the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, England’s Joe Root will start as the highest-ranked batsman from either side in fourth place. The Yorkshire batsman will be keen to convert his poor run of form, which has seen him drop two places and 52 points following an ordinary series against Sri Lanka.

Captain Alastair Cook (12th) and in-form Jonny Bairstow (18th) are the other England batsmen to feature inside the top 20, who along with Ben Stokes (37th) and Moeen Ali (39th) will be aiming to make upward movements.

Bairstow has a chance to break into the top 10 if he continues the kind of form he showed in the recent home series against Sri Lanka, in which he aggregated 387 runs including an unbeaten 167 at Lord’s.

Pakistan boasts five batsmen inside the top 20, while opener Mohammad Hafeez is just outside the top 20 in 22nd place.

Younus Khan, who in the series against England in the UAE last season had become his country’s first batsman to complete 9,000 Test runs, is the highest-ranked batsman in fifth position. He trails Root by 11 points and will be eyeing a top three finish by the time the series concludes in mid-August at The Oval.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq is in 10th position and he is followed by Asad Shafiq (13th), Sarfraz Ahmed (19th) and Azhar Ali (20th).

Australia’s Steve Smith leads the field and he is followed by Kane Williamson of New Zealand and South Africa’s Hashim Amla.

In the MRF Tyres Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, James Anderson is likely to slip from his one-number position after a shoulder injury has sidelined him from the Lord’s Test. As each player is docked one per cent of his points for each Test he misses, Anderson is set to drop behind India’s Ravichandaran Ashwin, whom he leads by six points.

England’s third-ranked Stuart Broad will be the highest-ranked bowler going into the first Test. He is followed by Pakistan’s wrist-spinner Yasir Shah, who is still 24 wickets away from attaining the full ranking that comes with 100 Test wickets, but has a good chance of making it to the number one position this season.

Other bowlers aiming to improve their rankings include Stokes (26th), Zulfiqar Babar (28th), Moeen Ali (30th), Rahat Ali (35th), Wahab Riaz (38th) and Imran Khan (47th).

The Test player rankings will now be updated at the conclusion of the Lord’s Test.

Series schedule:

MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings (as of 12 July 2016, before the start of England-Pakistan series)

Rank   Team               Points

1.     Australia            118

2.     India                  112

3.     Pakistan             111

4.     England             108

5.     New Zealand       98

6.     South Africa        92

7.     Sri Lanka             85

8.     West Indies          65

9.     Bangladesh          57

(Developed by David Kendix)
Note: Zimbabwe has 12 points but has not played the required eight Test matches over the new rating period to be included on the main table. It will reflect on the table as soon as it plays two more Tests


Tickets for the third Investec Test Match between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston are priced from £31 for Adults and £6 for under 16s. Please click here or call the Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 1902 to purchase.