Power Ranking the Test Cricket Nations

By (Featured Columnist) on January 10, 2014

2,726 reads

6Icon_comment

Previous
1 of 12
Next
Hi-res-164775249-graeme-smith-of-south-africa-poses-with-the-mace-during_crop_650x440
All smiles: South Africa captain Graeme Smith celebrates his side being ranked the No 1 Test nation in the world by the ICC, but will the Proteas hold on to top spot under our new alternative ratings system though?
Gallo Images/Getty Images

The International Cricket Council (ICC) recently published their latest rankings for the Test-playing nations, however, unsurprisingly they bore little actual resemblance to the current landscape in the international arena.

And that is because the system which the world governing body uses at present is flawed, taking into account as it does performances built up over a number of years, instead of focussing as it should do on the more relevant displays from the most recent past.

As a result, we have decided to produce an alternative rankings table based on how a side is performing right now, not 12 months ago for instance, with the main criteria being: if two nations were to meet both home and away today, just who would come out on top?

10: ZIMBABWE

Hi-res-137819408-chris-martin-of-new-zealand-celebrates-the-wicket-of_crop_650
Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Current ICC ranking: 9th (34 points)

Last series' played: Drew 1-1 (2) at home with Pakistan in September 2013 and 1-1 (2) at home to Bangladesh in April 2013.

Next assignment: Unknown

The Southern Africans have not played much five-day cricket since their readmission to the Test arena and as a result, when they are called into action, they invariably lose.

And so to have them ranked anything other than in last place would be an absolute travesty to the other nine nations.

9: WEST INDIES

Hi-res-458769075-the-west-indies-wait-for-a-review-during-day-four-of_crop_650
Hannah Johnston/Getty Images

Current ICC ranking: 7th (87 points)

Last series' played: Lost 2-0 (3) in New Zealand in December 2013 and 2-0 (2) in India in November 2013

Next assignment: New Zealand (h) in May 2014

Based on their recent form, the men from the Caribbean are vastly overrated in the current ICC rankings, with Darren Sammy’s side having lost both of their two most recent series 2-0.

8: BANGLADESH

Hi-res-96767465-mahmudullah-riyad-of-bangladesh-shakes-hands-with-shakib_crop_650
Phil Walter/Getty Images

Current ICC ranking: 10th (18 points)

Last series' played: Drew 0-0 (2) at home to New Zealand in October 2013 and 1-1 (2) in Zimbabwe in April 2013.

Next assignment: Sri Lanka (a) in January and February 2014

There is no way that Bangladesh should be rated as the worst Test nation on present form, especially as they were capable of holding the likes of eighth-placed New Zealand the last time they were in action.

7: NEW ZEALAND

Hi-res-458780425-new-zealand-celebrate-after-winning-the-series-on-day_crop_650
Hannah Johnston/Getty Images

Current ICC ranking: 8th (82 points)

Last series' played: Beat West Indies 2-0 (3) at home in December 2013 and drew 0-0 (2) in Bangladesh in October 2013

Next assignment: India (h) in February 2014

Judging by their most recent showings, the Black Caps are ranked too low down in eighth place by the ICC at present, especially taking into account how easily they just overcame seventh-in-the-table West Indies.

And when one also considers how close they came to upsetting England on home soil earlier in the year, then a ranking of seventh is more reflective of the Kiwis’ current form, although they will need to start winning on the road to maintain that position going forward.

5=: SRI LANKA

Hi-res-159020312-tillakaratne-dilshan-of-sri-lanka-celebrates-after_crop_650
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Current ICC ranking: 6th (88 points)

Last series played: Beat Bangladesh 1-0 (2) at home in March 2013

Next assignment: Currently in the middle of a three-Test series in Pakistan

At present, Sri Lanka are ranked sixth by the ICC, which is about right for a side that seem totally incapable of winning on their travels, while at the same time being over-reliant on overcoming weaker opponents on their spin-friendly tracks at home.

5=: PAKISTAN

Hi-res-162352070-ehsan-adil-of-pakistan-celebrates-the-wicket-of-hashim_crop_650
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Current ICC ranking: 5th (102 points)

Last series played: Drew 1-1 (2) at home to South Africa in October 2013

Next assignment: Currently in the middle of a three-Test series at “home” to Sri Lanka

Pakistan remain a notoriously hard side to beat in their “home” conditions in the United Arab Emirates, as the world’s No. 1 ranked Test nation found out in October, and any team that is capable of holding the Proteas really should be doing better than fifth place in the ICC standings, which is where Misbah-ul-Haq and Co currently are.

4: ENGLAND

Hi-res-460719935-captain-alastair-cook-and-the-england-players-look-on_crop_650
Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

Current ICC ranking: 4th (107 points)

Last series' played: Lost 5-0 (5) in Australia in November and December 2013 and beat Australia 3-0 (5) at home in July and August 2013

Next assignments: Sri Lanka (h) in June 2014 and India (h) in July and August 2014

Let’s face it, you would not currently back Alastair Cook’s men to beat many of the other nine Test nations and so an ICC ranking of fourth does looks slightly exaggerated at present.

However, victories in their next two series later this year would justify their placing in the table.

3: INDIA

Hi-res-458334619-cheteshwar-pujara-of-india-shakes-hands-with-virat_crop_650
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Current ICC ranking: 2nd (117 points)

Last series' played: Lost 1-0 (2) in South Africa in December 2013 and beat West Indies 2-0 (2) at home in November 2013

Next assignment: New Zealand (a) in February 2014

Just one position too high at second in the current ICC rankings after having lost their most recent series in South Africa, and it is their displays away from home that will need to improve over the course of this year if Duncan Fletcher wants to see his outfit challenge at the top of the table once again.

2: SOUTH AFRICA

Hi-res-459761627-the-team-celebrate-with-the-mace-during-day-5-of-the_crop_650
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Current ICC ranking: 1st (133 points)

Last series' played: Beat India 1-0 (2) at home in December 2013 and drew 1-1 (2) in Pakistan in October 2013

Next assignment: Australia (h) in February and March 2014

To be at the top of the pile, you need to be able to beat any of your rivals both home and away, whatever the conditions, and the Proteas’ failure to overcome mid-table Pakistan in the UAE back in October has cost Graeme Smith’s men top spot in the rankings.

However, South Africa will have a chance to regain first place if they beat Australia at home in their next contest in February.

 

1: AUSTRALIA

Hi-res-460700855-the-australian-team-pose-after-winning-the-ashes-series_crop_650
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Current ICC ranking: 3rd (111 points)

Last series' played: Beat England 5-0 (5) in November and December 2013 and lost 3-0 (5) in England in July and August 2013

Next assignment: South Africa (a) in February and March 2014

On current form, the best Test team in the world after the drubbing they just handed out to England, a side that were ranked above them in the ICC standings going into the most recent Ashes series Down Under, do not forget.

And it is the comprehensive nature of that whitewash that sees Michael Clarke and Co just edge past South Africa to take top spot in the table, but all that could change though when those two nations go head to head next month in a three-Test series, with the No. 1 ranking at stake for the winner.

Begin Slideshow
Keep Reading
Flag
Props (0)
This article is

What is the duplicate article?

Why is this article offensive?

Where is this article plagiarized from?

Why is this article poorly edited?

Flag This Article
Default-user-icon-comment
or to post a comment

6 Comments

There are no comments yet. Get the conversation started by leaving the first comment
Big
Loading comments...
just now posted just now
  • Loading...
  • Nobody has liked this comment yet
Cancel

This comment and all replies have been deleted This comment has been deleted Undo delete

Follow B/R on Facebook

Cricket

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.

Ranking Top 50 Players in IPL History Hint: you can use arrow keys to navigate through this channel.