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TEST-ing Opportunity for Pakistan

Although Pakistanis missed the opportunity to beat Australians at Dubai, they still have a shot at a pretty rare opportunity. An opportunity to improve their Test Ranking by a margin that is not a common occurrence. Simply put, if Pakistan manages to win all the four remaining Tests of its home season at its adopted home – UAE, it can rise up to number 4 in Test Rankings.
In the process, Pakistan will gain a handsome amount of 15 rating points which, in ICC Rankings, is as rare an opportunity as any team can get.

In the current ICC Test Team Rankings, Pakistan is standing at 7th with 88 points. Winning Abu Dhabi Test will give Pakistan 7 Rating Points; even a draw will earn Pakistan 2 Rating Points for the Series. This is due to the higher ranking of Pakistan’s opponent, Australia, who are placed at 3rd with 106 rating points.

The way ICC Ranking system works, the higher the rating of the beaten opponent is, the more rating benefits it brings to the winning team. A drawn series is yields half of winning a Test in the series in terms of ratings and winning a series is as good as winning an extra Test in the series. Hence, Pakistan can earn well from Abu Dhabi Test as long as it does not lose it to the Aussies.

Pakistan’s next guest in its adopted home will be New Zealand who are currently ranked 5th in Tests with 102 Rating Points. Regardless of the winning or not at Abu Dhabi, Pakistan will go into the series as the weaker team. For that reason, every good result will bring extra rewards to Pakistan.
Winning all the remaining four Tests of this year in UAE – 1 against Australia and 3 against New Zealand – will give Pakistan a massive gain of 15 points to its Test Rating. The improved Rating will be enough to guarantee 4th spot for Pakistan in ICC Test Ranking. However, there is another Test Series going to take place in parallel of Pakistan-New Zealand Test Series and its result will also impact the rankings of the teams including Pakistan.

England is going to challenge Sri Lanka at their home in a 3 Test Series. In case, Pakistan wins the next 4 Tests and Sri Lanka wins their series against England by any margin, Pakistan will rise to 3rd spot in ICC Test Rankings.
To make it simpler, here’s a quick guide to impact of Pakistan’s performance in coming Tests on Pakistan’s Test Rankings:

Pakistan began the Test series against Australia with an opportunity to gain 17 Rating Points in 5 Tests – 2 against Australia and 3 against New Zealand. This is a rare opportunity. It happened because both Australia and New Zealand are rated much higher than Pakistan at the moment.

Effectively, the failure to cease the opportunity, of beating Australia, at Dubai has costed Pakistan 2 Rating Points. Although the record books will record it as a drawn Test but the result was as disappointing for Pakistan as a loss. The captaincy and performance of Sarfaraz also came under criticism as a natural aftermath. Both Sarfaraz and Pakistan still have this excellent opportunity to redeem both himself and Pakistan team with a significant improvement in Pakistan’s ICC Test Team Rankings.

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