The sport’s traditionalists will have one eye on Asia where seven of the world’s proud Test playing countries will not only try to establish their dominance over their respective rivals, but will also aim to improve their rankings in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Team Rankings.

Bangladesh will play host to Zimbabwe and the Windies in a two-Test series each, England will travel to Galle for first of the three Tests against Sri Lanka, while the United Arab Emirates will be the stage for the three-Test series between Pakistan and New Zealand.

Virat Kohli’s India leads the Test team rankings, but only 11 points separate second-ranked South Africa from seventh-ranked Pakistan. This means there could be movement in the middle of the pack, depending on how the four series pans out.

Bangladesh can move ahead of the Windies in eighth place but to make that happen, they will have to win all the four Tests; England can rise to second, but will have to win the series; Sri Lanka can move ahead of fifth-placed Australia, but will have to win all the three Tests; New Zealand will rise to second irrespective of how Sri Lanka-England series ends if they sweep the three-Test series against Pakistan; while Pakistan can move ahead of Australia if they win 3-0.


The following are some permutations:

Bangladesh (67 points) v Zimbabwe (2 points)

· If Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe 2-0 - Bangladesh 68 points, Zimbabwe 0

· If series ends in a draw - Bangladesh 61 points, Zimbabwe 13 points


Bangladesh v the West Indies (76 points)

· If Bangladesh (68 points, following a 2-0 series win over Zimbabwe) beat the West Indies (76 points) 2-0, they will rise to 76 points while the West Indies will drop to 71 points

· If Bangladesh (68 points, following a 2-0 series win over Zimbabwe) draw with the West Indies, then Bangladesh will finish on 69 points while the West Indies will slip to 75 points


Sri Lanka (97 points) v England (105 points)

· If Sri Lanka beat England 3-0 - Sri Lanka (New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Australia will be on 102 points, Sri Lanka will ranked above Australia), England 100 points

· If Sri Lanka beat England 2-0 - Sri Lanka 101, England 101. England will be ranked above Sri Lanka

· If Sri Lanka beat England 2-1 or 1-0 – Sri Lanka 100, England (102, ahead of Australia by a fraction)

· If England beat Sri Lanka 3-0 – England 108 points (2nd), Sri Lanka 93 points

· If England beat Sri Lanka 2-0 – England 107 points (2nd), Sri Lanka 94 points

· If England beat Sri Lanka 2-1 or 1-0 – England 106 (2nd, ahead of SA by a fraction), Sri Lanka 95 points


Pakistan (95 points) v New Zealand (102 points) (team rankings will depend on how Sri Lanka-England series pans out as the Test table is updated at the end of a series)

· If Pakistan beat New Zealand 3-0 – Pakistan 103, New Zealand 94

· If Pakistan beat New Zealand 2-1 or 1-0 – Pakistan 99, New Zealand 98

· If Pakistan beat New Zealand 2-0 – Pakistan 101, New Zealand 96

· If New Zealand beat Pakistan 3-0 – New Zealand 109, Pakistan 89

· If New Zealand beat Pakistan 2-1 or 1-0 – New Zealand 105, Pakistan 92

· If New Zealand beat Pakistan 2-0 – New Zealand 107, Pakistan 90



Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and James Anderson of England will be the highest-ranked Test batter and bowler, respectively, who will be in action in the ICC’s pinnacle format this month.

Williamson is presently ranked third in the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, but England captain Joe Root is narrowly behind him in fourth position.

Dimuth Karunaratne of Sri Lanka is his side’s highest-ranked batsman in seventh position, Azhar Ali is Pakistan’s highest-ranked batsman in 15th spot, Mushfiqur Rahim is Bangladesh’s highest-ranked batsman in the absence of Shakib Al Hasan, while Brendan Taylor is Zimbabwe’s highest-ranked batsman in 46th position.

The Sri Lanka versus England series opener in Galle will be Rangana Herath’s 93rd and final Test. The left-arm spinner had made his debut at the same venue against Australia 19 years ago and will enter in his final Test as his side’s highest-ranked bowler in seventh place. With 430 wickets, he is his country’s second most successful bowler after Muttiah Muralidaran.

After his spectacular performance against Australia last month, Pakistan’s Mohammad Abbas will be the other bowler to watch-out for this month. He is currently ranked third in the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, but given he is still in the qualification period for bowlers, it is likely that he will move even further up the ladder depending on how he performs in the series.

New Zealand’s Trent Boult is sitting in sixth place and he will try to move ahead of fifth-ranked Ravinda Jadeja, who is 17 points ahead.

Mehedi Hasan will enter the Sylhet Test as Bangladesh’s highest-ranked bowler in 35th position.

The Test player rankings will now be updated following the conclusion of the Galle Test.

Schedule of Test series in November:

Bangladesh v Zimbabwe

3-7 November – 1st Test, Sylhet

11-15 November – 2nd Test, Mirpur

Sri Lanka v England

6-10 November – 1st Test, Galle

14-18 November – 2nd Test, Pallekele

23-27 November – 3rd Test, SSC

Pakistan v New Zealand

16-20 November – 1st Test, Abu Dhabi

24-28 November – 2nd Test, Dubai

3-7 December – 3rd Test, Abu Dhabi

Bangladesh v West Indies

22-26 November – 1st Test, Chittagong

30 November – 4 December – 2nd Test, Mirpur


MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Team Rankings (as on 1 November):

RANK TEAM POINTS

1. India 116

2. South Africa 106

3. England 105

4. New Zealand 102

5. Australia 102

6. Sri Lanka 97

7. Pakistan 95

8. West Indies 76

9. Bangladesh 67

10. Zimbabwe 02

11. Afghanistan 00

12. Ireland 00

(Developed by David Kendix)


MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Player Rankings (As on 1 November):

BATSMEN (top 20)

Rank Player Team Points Avge Highest Rating

1 Virat Kohli Ind 935 54.57 937 v Eng at Southampton 2018

2 Steve Smith Aus 910 61.37 947 v SA at Durban 2018

3 Kane Williamson NZ 847 50.35 893 v Aus at Perth 2015

4 Joe Root Eng 835 51.04 917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015

5 David Warner Aus 803 48.20 880 v NZ at Perth 2015

6 C. Pujara Ind 765 49.54 888 v SL at Nagpur 2017

7 D. Karunaratne SL 754! 37.28 754 v SA at Colombo (SSC) 2018

8 D. Chandimal SL 733 44.96 755 v Win at St Lucia 2018

9 Dean Elgar SA 724 41.05 784 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

10 Aiden Markram SA 703* 47.27 759 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

11 Usman Khawaja Aus 699 43.83 747 v Pak at Sydney 2017

12 Ross Taylor NZ 697 47.22 871 v Win at Hamilton 2013

13 Hashim Amla SA 673 47.23 907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013

14 Faf du Plessis SA 665 42.33 734 v Ind at Centurion 2018

15 Azhar Ali Pak 648 44.19 787 v Aus at Melbourne 2016

16 Kusal Mendis SL 641 36.78 693 v Win at St Lucia 2018

17 Jonny Bairstow Eng 637 37.19 772 v SA at Old Trafford 2017

18 Ajinkya Rahane Ind 633 41.40 825 v NZ at Indore 2016

19= Shakib Al Hasan Ban 632 39.69 694 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

Kraigg Brathwaite Win 632 36.54 701 v Eng at Headingley 2017


BOWLERS (top 20)

Rank Player Team Points Avge Highest Rating

1 James Anderson Eng 899 26.84 903 v Ind at Lord's 2018

2 Kagiso Rabada SA 882 21.71 902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018

3 M. Abbas Pak 829*! 15.64 829 v Aus at Abu Dhabi 2018

4 Vernon Philander SA 826 21.54 912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013

5 Ravindra Jadeja Ind 812 23.50 899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017

6 Trent Boult NZ 795 27.84 825 v Eng at Lord's 2015

7 Rangana Herath SL 791 27.95 867 v Zim at Harare 2016

8 Pat Cummins Aus 784* 23.81 800 v SA at Johannesburg 2018

9 R. Ashwin Ind 777 25.44 904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016

10 Jason Holder Win 766*! 28.50 766 v Ind at Hyderabad 2018

11 Neil Wagner NZ 765 28.26 785 v Win at Wellington 2017

12 Josh Hazlewood Aus 744 26.84 863 v Ind at Bengaluru 2017

13= Stuart Broad Eng 734 28.92 880 v SA at Johannesburg 2016

Shannon Gabriel Win 734 30.20 757 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

15 Tim Southee NZ 720 30.82 799 v Win at Jamaica 2014

16 Nathan Lyon Aus 706 32.21 774 v Eng at Adelaide 2017

17 Mitchell Starc Aus 693 28.52 805 v SA at Durban 2018

18 Keshav Maharaj SA 692* 27.65 695 v Zim at Port Elizabeth 2017

19 Shakib Al Hasan Ban 665 31.87 705 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

20 Kemar Roach Win 654 28.31 774 v SA at Centurion 2014


ALL-ROUNDERS (top five)

Rank Player Team Points Highest Rating

1 Shakib Al Hasan Ban 420 489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

2 Ravindra Jadeja Ind 400 438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017

3 Jason Holder Win 380 /* 381 v Ind at Hyderabad 2018

4 Vernon Philander SA 370 378 v SL at Galle 2018

5 R. Ashwin Ind 341 493 v Eng at Mohali 2016

*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.

!indicates career-highest rating