England look to retain third position in Windies series

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England will have to win their upcoming three-match series against the Windies starting on Wednesday in order to retain third position in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings while Australia and Sri Lanka will vie for important points in their two-match series starting a day later.

England’s challenge starts in Bridgetown with the Joe Root-led side knowing they have to win by at least a 1-0 margin to remain ahead of fourth-ranked New Zealand. A series victory will keep England ahead of New Zealand (107) on decimal points while a drawn series will see them drop to fourth position and 105 points.

The England pacer knows that his team have got to be on top form to challenge a motivated Windies in the Test series. #WIvENG

A 3-0 sweep will lift England to 109 points but they will remain behind India and South Africa, while the Windies will remain in eighth position irrespective of how the matches pans out.

In the other series starting on Thursday, Australia and Sri Lanka will remain in fifth and sixth positions, respectively, whatever the series result. Australia will gain three points and go up to 104 if they win 2-0 with Sri Lanka losing two and going down to 89 in such a scenario. Sri Lanka can go up to 95 points and to within two points of Australia with a 2-0 series win. The predictor function is available here.

Two centuries in the warm-up game have earned Kurtis Patterson his maiden call-up to the Australia squad for the Sri Lanka Tests.

In the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings, second-ranked England fast bowler James Anderson would be looking to overtake South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, with only eight points separating them while captain Joe Root will be the top-ranked batsman for the visiting side.

For the Windies, Roston Chase (43rd) will the leading batsman in terms of rankings and captain Jason Holder (10th) the leading bowler.

For Australia, the fast bowling pair of Pat Cummins (fourth) and Josh Hazlewood (11th) among bowlers and Usman Khawana (12th) among batsmen will be the ones fancying their chances of moving up high on the rankings. Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal (16th) will be the top-ranked batsman for the visiting side in the absence of Angelo Mathews while Dilruwan Perera (26th) will be their top bowler.

Series scenarios:

Windies v England

• England win 3-0 – England 109 points, Windies 69 points

• England win 2-0 – England 108, Windies 70

• England win 1-0 or 2-1 – England 107, Windies 72

• Drawn series – England 105, Windies 74

• Windies win 1-0 or 2-1 – England 104, Windies 77

• Windies win 2-0 – England 103, Windies 78

• Windies win 1-0 – England 102, Windies 79

Australia v Sri Lanka

• Australia win 2-0 – Australia 104 points, Sri Lanka 89 points

• Australia win 1-0 – Australia 103, Sri Lanka 90

• Drawn series – Australia 100, Sri Lanka 92

• Sri Lanka win 1-0 – Australia 98, Sri Lanka 94

• Sri Lanka win 2-0 – Australia 97, Sri Lanka 95

Upcoming fixtures:

Windies v England:

23-27 Jan: 1st Test, Bridgetown

31 Jan-4 Feb: 2nd Test, Antigua

9-13 Feb: 3rd Test, Gros Islet

Australia v Sri Lanka:

24-28 Jan: 1st Test, Brisbane

1-5 Feb: 2nd Test, Canberra

MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings (as of 21 January, before the Windies-England and Australia-Sri Lanka series):

Rank Team Points

1. India 116

2. South Africa 110

3. England 108

4. New Zealand 107

5. Australia 101

6. Sri Lanka 91

7. Pakistan 88

8. West Indies 70

9. Bangladesh 69

10. Zimbabwe 13

11. Afghanistan 00

12. Ireland 00