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India eye second place in ICC Test rankings
November 21, 2007 19:48 IST
India could move up to second place in the LG ICC [Images] Test Championship table if it secures a convincing series win over arch-rivals Pakistan.
A clean sweep of the three-match clash that gets underway in New Delhi on Thursday will catapult India, currently fourth in the list, above third-placed South Africa and England [Images], currently in second spot.
India has 107 rating points but a 3-0 series win would lift it to 112 points, one ahead of England; a 2-0 win would raise India's tally to 110 points, still enough to lift it above South Africa, which currently occupies third spot with 109 points.
If sixth-placed Pakistan is beaten in all three Tests it would lose five rating points and slip below New Zealand [Images], which currently occupies seventh spot on the ladder but, conversely, the visitors also have a chance to make progress up the table.
A 3-0 series win would not only lift Pakistan to fifth position with 103 rating points -- it currently has 96 -- but would also drop India below it and into sixth place with 100 points. A 2-0 win for Shoaib Malik's [Images] side would have the same effect in terms of positions in the table, with Pakistan having 102 points to India's 101.
Australia heads the LG ICC Test Championship table, extending its advantage over England to 32 rating points after a 2-0 series success over Sri Lanka [Images] that was confirmed on Tuesday.
The good news for Pakistan in the LG ICC Player Rankings is that it is the most represented side in the bowling top 20 with four players in the elite group -- fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar [Images] (10th), leg-spinner Danish Kaneria (14th), pacer Mohammad Asif [Images], currently sidelined with an elbow injury (17th), and another fast bowler Umar Gul (20th).
India, by contrast, has three players in the top 20, new Test captain leg-spinner Anil Kumble - who once took ten wickets in a Test innings against Pakistan in New Delhi -- in seventh position, Zaheer Khan [Images] in 11th place and Zaheer's fellow left-armer Irfan Pathan [Images] in 19th spot.
In the batting list both teams have two players inside the top 20, but while Pakistan's players are both in the top 10 � Mohammad Yousuf [Images] in fourth place and Yunus Khan three spots further back -- India's players are Rahul Dravid [Images], left out of the recent ODI series between the two sides, in 11th position and the resurgent Sachin Tendulkar [Images], who lies 18th.
The LG ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers is topped by Sri Lanka's talismanic spinner Muttiah Muralidaran, clear of the South Africa pace duo of Makhaya Ntini [Images] and Dale Steyn.
The schedule for the India - Pakistan Test series is as follows:
November 22-26: First Test, New Delhi
November 30-4: Second Test, Kolkata
December 8-12: Third Test, Bangalore