New Zealand and West Indies eye Test ratings
Dunedin: West Indies and New Zealand begin their three-Test series Tuesday in Dunedin with an aim to improve their ratings points on the Reliance International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Team Rankings Table.
Despite the results there will be no change in West Indies` final position on the table, except to reduce the gap with Australia.
West Indies enter the series in sixth position on 95 ratings points, while New Zealand starts off in eighth place with 75 ratings points.
If New Zealand was to win the series by a margin of 2-0, it can rise up to 82 ratings points, while a 3-0 series sweep will hand the home team a rise of eight ratings points to thereby finish at 83, according to the ICC.
In both scenarios (New Zealand winning 2-0 and 3-0), West Indies will move down to seventh place behind Sri Lanka.
If New Zealand win the series by either 1-0 or 2-1, or even if the series is drawn 0-0 or 1-1, there will be no change in West Indies` final position on the table.
For the West Indies, the series offers an opportunity to reduce the gap with fifth-ranked Australia. But this can only happen if it wins the series by either a 2-0 or 3-0 margin.
If West Indies win the series by a 2-0 margin, it will gain two ratings points to end at 97, to thereby reduce the gap with fifth-ranked Australia to four ratings points. A 3-0 series win, will give West Indies a gain of four ratings points, thereby reducing the gap with Australia to just two.
With the top four sides as of December 31, 2016 qualifying for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship scheduled for 2017, every Test counts towards the qualification.
Mean while, Shivnarine Chanderpaul starts the series as the highest-ranked batsman on either side in second position on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen.
Chander paul trails number-one ranked AB de Villiers by 11 ratings points and stands a good chance of even breaking the 900-rating point barrier, a benchmark for top batsmen, for the second time in his career.
Incidentally, the first time Chanderpaul breached the 900-point mark was also after a Test against New Zealand at Napier in December 2008.
New Zealand`s Ross Taylor in 12thand West Indies` Marlon Samuels in 19thare the only other batsmen on either side inside the top 20.
Outside the top 20, the batsmen likely to be in action are Darren Bravo in 25th, Kane Williamson in 27th, Brendon McCullum in 34th, BJ Watling in 48th, Kieran Powell in 51stand Denesh Ramdin in 58th.
In theReliance ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers,West Indies spinner Shane Shillingford in 16thplaceis the only bowler inside the top 20.
Outside the top 20, the bowlers likely to feature in the series include Tim Southee in 21st, Trent Boult in 25th, Darren Sammy in 33rd, Doug Bracewell in 43rd, Narsingh Deonarine in 44th, Neil Wagner in 45thand Tino Best in 55th.
The bowlers` table is headed by Dalen Steyn with compatriot Vernon Philander in second and Sri Lanka`s Ranagana Herath third.