Wet pitch and poor planning rob India of top Test ranking


 Pakistan team 1

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Soaking pitch and outfield due to earlier heavy rains robbed India of no. 1 ranking in Test cricket. India had to win this Test in Port-of-Spain to retain their top position. A draw and Pakistan would get the top spot.

I could imagine the Indian supporters chanting “Rain, rain, go away” while the Pakistani fans singing “Barso r锝 [heavy rains]!

My question: Why keep Tests in August in the West Indies? It is their rainy season. Tests have been played in April-May in the past.

After Sri Lanka whitewashing Australia 3-0 in the series in Sri Lanka in mid-August, Australia lost its no.1 Test ranking.

That time on virtue of winning the series in West Indies 2-0, India had shot up to be the top-ranked Test nation. But they had to win the final Test in Port-of-Spain in Trinidad to retain their no.1 spot. A draw or loss would mean Pakistan will jump to no.1 in Test cricket.

Prior to the Port-of-Spain Test India (112 points) had one point lead over Pakistan (111) who drew the Test series 2-2 against England in England a week earlier.

Unfortunately, with the draw in the final Test due to rains and wet outfield, Pakistan is now the top-ranked nation in Test matches.

This could have been avoided if the West Indies Cricket Board had better drying system like “super soaker”. It rained heavily on the first two days but the sun did come out on the following two days. Thus inefficiency and poor weather cost India the numero uno  (number one place) in Test cricket.

Australia shares the third place with England (108 points each).

Pakistan has not been ranked no.1 at Test level since the official rankings were introduced in 2003. Their highest placing was no.2, which they achieved following their series win over England in the UAE at the end of 2015.

Congratulations to Pakistan on becoming the no. 1 Test nation.


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