Calcutta: Apart from taking revenge for the thrashing they received last year, climbing up the rankings ladder will also be on the Indian minds when they take on England in a four-Test series.
Currently ranked fifth, India can jump two places to the third spot if they win the series by a margin of 2-0 or more, said an International Cricket Council (ICC) media release, on Monday.
For England, however, the incentive is much bigger as they can reclaim their No.1 Test status if they manage to beat the hosts by 3-0 or an even bigger margin in the series starting Thursday, at Ahmedabad. They had lost the top spot to South Africa just a few months back.
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Alastair Cook’s side will also be chasing their first Test series win in India since 1984-85.
However, England’s return to the top will also depend on the ongoing Australia-South Africa series.
If Australia win by a margin of 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1, then they would become the No.1-ranked team. But England could displace Australia from the top if they were then to beat India by a margin of 3-0 or 4-0.
Similarly, if the Australia-South Africa series is drawn level at 0-0 or 1-1, it would see Graeme Smith’s side retaining the No.1 spot. If this were to happen, England could displace South Africa if they manage to beat India by 3-0 or 4-0 margin.
But if South Africa win the series by a margin of 1-0 or better, England could, at best, hope to take the second place. But for that they will have to beat India.