Important ranking points will be up for grabs in The Ashes as Australia and England battle it out in five Tests starting in Brisbane on Thursday.

Third-placed England go into the series with 105 points on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings table, enjoying an eight-point lead over Australia, who will look to maximize their home advantage and move up from fifth position.

Australia will overtake England if they win by a margin of 2-0 or better and could even go up to third position if they can complete a 5-0 series washout. In the event of being blanked out, England will slip down to 98 points.

On the other hand, England will go up to 110 points with a 5-0 win, in which case Australia will slip to 91 points and could be down to sixth position. India, who are currently engaged in a three-Test home series with Sri Lanka, lead the table with 125 points while South Africa are in second place with 111 points

Series scenarios:

• Australia win 5-0 – Australia 106 (+9), England 98 (-7)
• Australia win 4-0 – Australia 104 (+7), England 99 (-6)
• Australia win 4-1 or 3-0 – Australia 103 (+6), England 100 (-5)
• Australia win 3-1 or 2-0 – Australia 102 (+5), England 101 (-4)
• Australia win 3-2, 2-1 or 1-0 – England 102 (-3), Australia 101 (+4)
• Drawn series – England 104 (-1), Australia 97 (no change)
• England win 5-0 – England 110 (+5), Australia 91 (-6)
• England win 4-0 – England 109 (+4), Australia 92 (-5)
• England win 4-1 or 3-0 – England 108 (+3), Australia 93 (-4)
• England win 3-2, 2-1 or 1-0 – England 106 (+1), Australia 96 (-1)
• England win 3-1 or 2-0 (England 107 (+2), Australia 94 (-3)

In the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings, Australia captain Steve Smith leads the table for batsmen with his counterpart Joe Root in second position but a good 47 points behind.

Australia’s left-handed batsman David Warner is another player in the top-10, in sixth position. Outside the top 20, Peter Handscomb is at a career-best 26th position and would be looking to further advance in the rankings.

Australia also boast Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon in sixth and seventh positions, respectively, among bowlers, while Mitchell Starc is in 13th position and would be looking to find his way into the top 10.

For England, former captain Alastair Cook will be hoping to repeat his 2010-11 Ashes form, when he scored 766 runs. He is presently ranked 10th while Jonny Bairstow is ranked 15th.

England’s bowling is led by top-ranked James Anderson, who enjoys a 20-point lead over South Africa pace bowler Kagiso Rabada. He is presently on 896 points and in with a chance to become only the seventh England bowler to touch the 900-point mark. Stuart Broad is ranked 10th.

Click to view the full MRF ICC Test Player Rankings.

Test Cricket at Edgbaston in 2018

England face India at ‘Fortress Edgbaston’ in 2018 determined to build on their three consecutive victories here in Birmingham over the last three seasons.

Starting on Wednesday 1 August, tickets are on-sale now priced from £29 for adults and from £16 for under 16s.

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