ICC Test Team Ranking is done for the various teams that play Cricket Test Matches. And get a certain number of points for every win or lose and the margin of winning and losing. These Test Match Rankings are going on for the past 12 years, to determine which team is the best at the end of every year. And also win a sum of money, which has kept on rising accordingly as the years have passed.
What is a Test Match?
As the name suggests, it is a Test. The duration of the match is for a maximum of 5 days. Where the teams are tested for their cricketing skills, patience on the field, and level of fitness. That is they test both the mental and physical abilities of the teams and its payers. The more you focus on these characteristics, the more are the chances of your team winning the match.
Test Match begins as the team who wins the toss and chooses to bat/bowl. And each team gets to bat, two times. The team batting can bat as long as they want until they are all-out or decide to declare the innings when they feel the score is enough for them to win or defend. At the end of the match, the team who is batting second does not get all out. And the time runs out, the match is considered to be drawn. In all other scenarios, one or the other team stands to win the match.
Before 2012, these test matches were conducted during the day only. But ICC after analyzing permitted day & night test matches. And the first day & night test match was played in November 2015 between the teams Australia & New Zealand.
Participating Teams for Test Ranking
There are a total of Twelve teams that are a part of the ICC Test Team Rankings. When two teams compete with each other in a series or a match, they are awarded points according to their win. And hence teams keep on shuffling throughout the year. And hence the best team is determined after every year of cricket ends.
The teams are:
- New Zealand
- Sri Lanka
- West Indies
- South Africa
How is the calculation done?
If you are wondering how is the calculation done for the Test Cricket Rankings. There is a fairly simple ranking system that is followed by the ICC. The ICC takes into consideration the number of matches & series in the time period of 12-24 months. The weightage of 1 to 2 years keeps on changing from a hundred percent to fifty percent as the year passes. For example, taking the year 2013-15.
There are 3-4 very simple steps involved in marking the teams. And they are as follows:
The first step involves marking the teams according to their wins and losses per match & series. The catch here is you are marked for every single match you play. So, even if your team loses you still get some points.
For every match you win, you are awarded 1 marks and for every loss, you get 1/2 marks. Similarly, for every series win, you are given a bonus of one mark. And for a defeat in the series 1/2 marks.
But you must be wondering, the ratings are way higher than this. These ratings have a formula for calculating them.
The second step is converting these marks into the rating points, that we see on the ICC Test Ranking table. The calculation is done according to the difference in their ratings before the series.
Difference in ratings is less than 40
The difference in ratings implies, the ratings of the teams before the series began. Then usually they use the formula given below for ratings.
(Team’s series points/marks) x (Opponent’s rating + fifty) + (Opponent’s series points/marks) + (Opponents’s ratings – fifty)
And for every match played, the winning team gets higher ratings that they had previously. And the loosing gets lesser. Whereas when the match draws, the weaker team gets more points than the stronger team. As they made sure to not lose the match, but give them a tough fight.
Gap between the teams is greater than 40
This generally happens when one team has a higher ranking on the ICC Test Ranking, and another is on the lower half. So, to make the judgment fair for both the teams, ICC has divided the formula into two categories.
Formula for weaker team:
(Teams series points) x (Teams own ratings + ninty) + (Opponents series points) x ( Opponent’s ratings – ninty)
For the stronger team
(Teams series points) x (Teams own ratings + ten) + (Opponents series points) x ( Opponent’s ratings – ten)
And the ratings possible for every outcome, for both the teams per match will be as follows:
|Single match result||Ratings points earned|
|Stronger team wins||Own rating + 10|
|Weaker team loses||Own rating − 10|
|Stronger team draws or ties||Own rating − 40|
|Weaker team draws or ties||Own rating + 40|
|Stronger team loses||Own rating − 90|
|Weaker team wins||Own rating + 90|
According to the above table and formulas. The rating points of this series and earlier rating points will be added. To get the cumulating ratings for both the teams. And therefore changing their positions on the Test Match Ranking Table.
The last and the final step is to update the Rankings table and get the Latest ICC Test Ranking, after every series. You need to update all the details of the series played, with the number of matches played. Then checking in the number of matches won/lost. And then finally dividing the new ratings by the number of matches. To get the final Test Match Ranking, until any other series.
Repeat the same three steps after every series to get the final best team in Test Matches by the end of every year.
Latest ICC Test Ranking
In the Latest ICC Test Cricket Ranking table. Australia tops the table, followed by New Zealand on the second position and India on the third. The worst performer in the table are Test Team from the country Ireland. Who take the 12th position on the table.
But, mostly the top 3 teams keep on shuffling their positions. After every bilateral/trilateral played against each other. According to the ICC, the current ranking table is
Teams with Best Records
The Australian team by far holds the best record of staying at the top of their game. It holds its name for everything on the Test Cricket Ranking Table. From the most successful, longest, highest, and current champion. Australia ticks off all the boxes.
But, other teams such as India and New Zealand also work very hard, to make it to the first position. And on many occasions, they have secured the position. But, haven’t been able to sustain it as long as the Australian team to make records. From the above table, you can notice the difference in their rating points is only 1-2.
So, yes Australians are the current champions. But the remaining two teams of the top 3 are also not behind. And hopefully, we can see them taking away the position of Australian Test Team soon enough. Making it to the 1st position on the ICC Test Team Ranking, as we have seen the Indian team doing a lot of times.
Let’s just wait till the season end to look at the test champion of the ongoing year.
ICC World Test Championship
Looking at the growth of limited over cricket, and they having ICC Tournaments. The ICC also wanted to add a World Test Championship besides just giving the team rankings as for other formats. And hence, they decided to have this championship as the ICC Tournament for Test Matches.
The World Test Championship’s first edition of two years is currently going on. It is a tournament that stretches for 2 long years and this time from 2019-21. Which started from the world-famous Ashes series in 2019. At the end of the tournament, the top 2 teams will meet in the World Test Championship Final to win the Trophy.
Similarly, the second edition of this championship starts from 2021-23. Currently, 12 teams are fighting to win the first edition of this trophy. Other than just competing over the Test Cricket Ranking, as they have been doing for so many years.
FAQs Regarding ICC Test Match Ranking
The ICC follows a fair play rule, and for that they need to consider the strength of the opponent team. If the fist position teams competes with the last position team, there is a higher chance that the first position team wins the match. Because they are the best in the game. But, is it fair for the last position team? No, right. And just to ensure there is no advantage on any side of the game, ICC has made it hard to score against low ranked team.
The ICC Test Cricket Rankings are updated after every match, and then at the end of a series. The updating may take up to 12-24 hours, but it is updated before the nest match begins.
The first position holder gets their hands on the ICC Trophy, ICC Test Championship maze. And a cash price of $1 million, on 1st April of every year to the team who is at the top of the rankings table.
India became the No.1 team in the ICC Test Rankings for the first time in 2009. After defeating Sri Lanka in a two match, test series by 2-0 in December of the same year.
Editor’s Note | ICC Test Rankings
COVID-19 took away the heartbeats of cricket fans when it arrived. All formats of Cricket was stopped to prevent the spread of this virus. And the last test match before a 5-month break was between India and New Zealand. But, the Test Matches started back in the month of July where England faced West Indies. And the teams got an opportunity to come back on the field. As of now, there is a schedule of Test matches that may happen after IPL 2020 gets over with.
Read more about cricket, and it’s legends, important matches like the India Vs Sri Lanka World Cup final, and ICC Cricket World Cup on our website.