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Where England could end up in the ICC Test rankings after Ben Stokes’ first summer in charge

England Test team
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Currently placed sixth in the ICC Test team rankings, England could go as high as No.3 after their seven home Tests against New Zealand, India, and South Africa.

England might be out of contention to play the World Test Championship final in 2023 after just one win in 12 Tests in the current cycle, but the upcoming home summer, the first under Ben Stokes’ captaincy, could see them finish as high as No.3 in the ICC Test team rankings which would represent a major boost for a side currently languishing in sixth place with their lowest rating since 1995.

The next three months see England contest three home series — a three-match Test series against New Zealand in June, the one-off Test against India to complete the Test series from 2021, and another three-match series against South Africa beginning in August.

Using the ICC’s ranking predictor tool, you can map several possibilities on how the Test rankings might be affected as a result of the next few series on the calendar.

According to that, even a 3-0 series win over New Zealand in June would only see England jump one place, above Pakistan, up to No.5. If England win 2-1, they would go one place up to No.5. On the other hand, a 3-0 loss or a 2-1 loss would keep England at No.6. A 1-1 series result with the other Test being a draw would also see England remain in No.6 in the ICC Test rankings.

The one-off Test against India, a continuation of the series from 2021 that is currently in favour of India at 2-1, will not hugely impact England’s position in the ICC Test rankings table irrespective of how the series against New Zealand goes prior to that. England will hold onto the same position they finished the New Zealand series with irrespective of the result of the one-off Test against India.

However, if Sri Lanka beat Australia in the home series and England lose the Test series against New Zealand and the one-off Test against India, they will go down to seventh in the rankings table.

If England win every Test in the home summer, the highest they can go is No.3. This would mean beating New Zealand and South Africa 3-0 and also winning the one-off Test against India. It’s worth noting that England need to win four out of seven Tests, without losing any, to go to No.3 in the rankings table. Even if they lose one Test, the highest they can get to is No.4.

England could finish the summer as low as seventh in the rankings if results don’t go their way but this would partly rely on Sri Lanka faring well in their scheduled encounters against Bangladesh and Australia.

England’s last Test win came way back in August 2021 against India. Since then, England have lost six Tests and drawn three. To stretch it back further, in their last 20 Tests England only have four wins, losing 11 in the same time frame, the worst win-loss ratio among all Test teams aside from Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Ben Stokes’ first summer as Test captain could be a big one for England and if they don’t hit the ground running, there’s every chance they will dip further in that rankings table.

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