England’s pursuit of No 1 Test ranking status dealt a severe blow following New Zealand loss
England’s pursuit of No 1 Test ranking status dealt a severe blow following agonising one-run defeat by New Zealand… with 11-year wait to return to the top now in serious doubt even if they win the Ashes this summer
- England drew two-match series with New Zealand following stunning last Test
- New Zealand sealed a dramatic Test win despite being forced to follow on
- England look unlikely to top the Test team rankings for the first time since 2012
England’s chances of a remarkable surge to the No 1 Test ranking this coming Ashes summer have been jeopardised by the agonising one-run loss to New Zealand.
Such has been the dramatic up-turn in form of Ben Stokes’ team over the past nine months that it is anticipated that they will receive a huge eight-point rankings boost when the International Cricket Council provides its annual update to the standings on May 1.
An increase from 106 to 114 points would put them on the coat-tails of both India and Australia, who are currently on 121 and 120 respectively with two Tests of the current series between them left to play.
In contrast to England, both those teams are expected to experience marginal losses to their respective ratings when results from three years ago are removed and the influence of those from 2021-22 are reduced to 50 per cent.
England suffered a heartbreaking one-run loss against New Zealand on Monday
The defeat meant the two-match series ended in a 1-1 draw between the teams in New Zealand
England have not topped the Test rankings since losing at home against South Africa in 2012
However, had England made it 11 wins out of 12 on Monday, they would have shot up to 118 points – by virtue of leaving Wellington with 109 and gaining a further nine – and bunched international cricket’s big three closer together.
Sportsmail calculates it would now require a comprehensive victory over Australia in the summer, plus results elsewhere going England’s way, for them to top the table for only the second time.
They were previously at the summit for 12 months under Andrew Strauss, prior to a 2-0 home defeat by South Africa in 2012.
To highlight the recent fluctuations in fortune: last May, England slumped to their worst Test rating for more than a quarter of a century, dropping to No 6 after winning just one of 17 matches. A tally of 88 points was their lowest since 1995.