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The Proteas can close the rankings gap on India

South Africa will have a chance to join India at the top of the Test rankings when the two sides go face to face in the three-Test series starting at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday 5 January. 

Faf du Plessis’s side is presently 13 points behind Virat Kohli’s team, which is sitting on top of the table on 124 points. However, both the sides will finish on 118 points if the South Africa side makes a clean sweep of the series.

Nevertheless, even in that scenario, India will be ranked above South Africa when the points are calculated beyond the decimal point. In such a situation, India will be on 118.47 points, while South Africa will be on 117.53.

On the other side of the coin, if India win all the three Tests of the series, then they will move to 128 points while South Africa will slip to 107 points.

The following are the series permutations:

South Africa 3 India 0 – South Africa will join India on 118 points but India will be ranked first by a fraction of a point

South Africa 2 India 1 or South Africa 1 India 0 – South Africa 115 India 121

South Africa 2 India 0 – South Africa 116 India 120

India 3 South Africa 0 – India 128 South Africa 107

India 2 South Africa 1 or India 1 South Africa 0 – India 125 South Africa 110

India 2 South Africa 0 – India 126 South Africa 109

Drawn series – India 123 South Africa 112

South Africa will be level on points with India at the top of the rankings if they sweep the series. South Africa will be level on points with India at the top of the rankings if they sweep the series.

Meanwhile, Australia have been guaranteed third place in the ICC Test Team Rankings after leading the series 3-0 with the fifth and final Test to begin in Sydney on Thursday, 4 January. However, England will have to win the Test to avoid finishing in fifth place.

If Australia win the series 4-0, then they will finish third on 104 points and England will end on fifth with 99 points, while a 3-1 series win for Australia will mean they will finish third on 102 points and England in fourth on 101 points.

In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, India’s second-ranked Virat Kohli will aim to break the 900-point mark for the first time in his career.

The in-form right-hander is presently on 893 points and a solid performance will potentially see him join the select group of players with a rating of 900 or more, which in ranking terms is an indication of a player’s quality, as to achieve it a player has to be among the very best over a protracted period.

India’s Cheteshwar Pujara is 20 points behind Kohli in third place, while Hashim Amla of South Africa is the other player who features in the top 10, in seventh position.

Amongst the bowlers, South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada is breathing down number-one ranked James Anderson’s neck. Second-ranked Rabada is nine points behind Anderson and depending on how the two bowlers perform in the coming days, there could potentially be a change at the top of the order.

Series schedule:

5-9 Jan – 1st Test, Newlands

13-17 Jan – 2nd Test, Centurion

24-28 Jan – 3rd Test, New Wanderers Stadium

ICC Test Team Rankings (as on 3 January 2018, before the start of South Africa v India series)

Rank      Team                     Points

1. India 124
2. South Africa 111
3. England 105
4. New Zealand 100
5. Australia 97
6. Sri Lanka 94
7. Pakistan 88
8. Windies 72
9. Bangladesh 72
10. Zimbabwe 01
(Developed by David Kendix)

 

ICC TEST PLAYER RANKINGS (as on 3 January 2018, before the start of Cape Town and Sydney Tests)

BATSMEN (top 10)

Rank      Player                    Team     Points    Avge      Highest Rating

1           Steve Smith          Aus         947!       63.55     947 v Eng at Melbourne 2017

2           Virat Kohli             Ind          893         53.75     895 v Ban at Hyderabad 2017

3           C. Pujara               Ind          873         52.96     888 v SL at Nagpur 2017

4=        Kane Williamson NZ           855         50.62     893 v Aus at Perth 2015

Joe Root                Eng         855         52.45     917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015

6           David Warner       Aus         831         48.72     880 v NZ at Perth 2015

7           Hashim Amla       SA           776         49.61     907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013

8           Alastair Cook        Eng         759         46.52     874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012

9           Azhar Ali                Pak         755         46.62     787 v Aus at Melbourne 2016

10         D. Chandimal       SL           743!       43.94     743 v Ind at Delhi 2017

SELECTED RANKINGS

 

Rank      Player                    Team     Points    Avge      Highest Rating

12         Lokesh Rahul       Ind          728*      44.62     761 v SL at Pallekele 2017

13         Dean Elgar           SA           722         42.12     740 v NZ at Dunedin 2017

14         Faf du Plessis      SA           711         46.54     718 v Ban at Bloemfontein 2017

15         Quinton de Kock  SA           708         43.83     802 v NZ at Hamilton 2017

18         AB de Villiers        SA           689         50.47     935 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2014

19         Ajinkya Rahane   Ind          662         44.15     825 v NZ at Indore 2016

25         Murali Vijay           Ind          636         41.57     747 v SA at Bengaluru 2015

30         Shikhar Dhawan  Ind          613         43.78     627 v SL at Kolkata 2017

40         Temba Bavuma   SA           571         33.13     589 v Ban at Potchefstroom 2017

41         Rohit Sharma       Ind          565*      42.45     578 v NZ at Wellington 2014

50         Wriddhiman Saha               Ind          506         32.11     524 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017

 

BOWLERS (top 10)

Rank      Player                    Team     Points    Avge      Highest Rating

1           James Anderson Eng         892         27.35     896 v Win at Lord’s 2017

2           Kagiso Rabada    SA           883!       22.29     883 v Zim at Port Elizabeth 2017

3           Ravindra Jadeja  Ind          870         23.73     899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017

4           R.Ashwin               Ind          829         25.44     904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016

5           Josh Hazlewood  Aus         819         25.60     863 v Ind at Bengaluru 2017

6           Rangana Herath  SL           799         28.04     867 v Zim at Harare 2016

7           Neil Wagner         NZ           784         27.87     785 v Win at Wellington 2017

8           Mitchell Starc        Aus         774         27.52     805 v Pak at Brisbane 2016

9           Nathan Lyon         Aus         771         31.60     774 v Eng at Adelaide 2017

10         Morne Morkel       SA           753         28.45     776 v Aus at Cape Town 2011

 

SELECTED RANKINGS

Rank      Player                    Team     Points    Avge      Highest Rating

11         Dale Steyn            SA           741         22.30     909 v Win at Centurion 2014

12         Vernon Philander                SA           739         22.37     912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013

16         Keshav Maharaj  SA           695*!     25.03     695 v Zim at Port Elizabeth 2017

19         M. Shami               Ind          630*      30.77     647 v SL at Kolkata 2017

25         Umesh Yadav      Ind          572*      35.90     578 v SL at Nagpur 2017

27         Ishant Sharma     Ind          539         36.55     671 v Win at Dominica 2011

30         B. Kumar               Ind          532*      27.18     543 v SL at Kolkata 2017

 

ALL-ROUNDERS (top three)

Rank      Player                    Team     Points    Highest Rating

1           Shakib Al Hasan  Ban         438        489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

2           Ravindra Jadeja  Ind          415        438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017

3           R. Ashwin              Ind          369        493 v Eng at Mohali 2016

 

*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.

! indicates career-highest rating