Pakistan’s test ranking changed after Sri Lanka defeated Australia in the third Test by 164 runs and completed the whitewash over the mighty Kangaroos.
Pakistan climbed to second position in ICC Test ranking on Wednesday.
This is the second time in less than a year that it has peaked to number-two position. After defeating England by 2-0 last year in the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan had risen to second position for the first time since the current rankings system was introduced in 2003.
The defeat means that India, who is on the tour of West Indies, where they are due to face the hosts in the final Tests of the four-match series from Thursday, are currently at the first spot with 112 points. Whereas ,Misbahul Haq’s men who drew the series 2-2 after winning the final Test at The Oval against England by 10 wickets are on the second spot with 111 points.
However, if Virat Kohli’s men failed to win the match at Port-of-Spain, it will be Pakistan who will become the top Test rank side in the world for the first time since the ICC introduced an official rankings system in 2003.
The defeat also means that Steve Smith’s Australia, who started their Sri Lanka tour as the top-ranked side in the longest format of the game, are now down to third behind Pakistan with 108 points.
Earlier, Pakistan’s most successful Test captain Misbahul Haq said that his side will deserve to be the world’s top-ranked Test team after a thumping victory at The Oval.
Pakistan’s achievement was more impressive as they have not played a Test series on home soil since an armed attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore in 2009 turned the country into a no-go area for the world’s leading Test nations.
The United Arab Emirates has since become their adopted base.
But for all their success in conditions similar to those on home soil, Pakistan often find themselves facing in the dispiriting position of playing before meagre crowds rather than in front of their own passionate supporters.
“This team deserves that (going to number one) for six years of no cricket at home, sometimes people think it’s easy — the UAE suits us, we win — but just getting every day away from the country, without family and friends and all games out of Pakistan, it’s really difficult,” Misbah told reporters at The Oval on Sunday after Pakistan won with more than a day to spare.
“It’s mentally tough — I’ve only seen my mother and sister once in a year, some friends I haven’t seen for three or four years.
“It’s not easy, given those circumstances but the team is playing competitive cricket.
“I am really proud of them and this team really deserves to be number one.”
-ICC Test rankings –
1 India (112 points), 2 Pakistan (111), 3 Australia (108), 4 England (108), 5 New Zealand (99), 6 Sri Lanka (95), 7 South Africa (92), 8 West Indies (65), 9 Bangladesh (57), 10 Zimbabwe (8)