• England target win in Test No 1,000

    England can rise to second in the rankings with a win over India, while Kohli can eclipse Steve Smith as the number one batsman.

    The England men’s team is entering their final preparations for their 1000th Test match, which begins at Edgbaston in Birmingham against India on Wednesday, 1 August. 

    Out of the 999 men’s Tests to date since their debut against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in March 1877, England has won 357 and lost 297, with 345 ending in draws. At Edgbaston itself, England have played 50 Tests since the ground’s debut in May 1902 against Australia, winning 27 Tests and losing eight, with 15 ending in draws.

    ICC Chairman Mr Shashank Manohar said: ‘On behalf of the cricket family, I want to congratulate England on their 1000th men’s Test match, the first country to reach this milestone.

    ‘I wish England all the best in this historic match and may it continue to produce players and performances that inspire the following of Test cricket, the oldest and most demanding format of the game.’

    To commemorate the occasion, Jeff Crowe, former New Zealand captain and member of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, on behalf of the ICC, will present a silver plaque to England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Mr Colin Graves before the start of the Test.

    England has dominated India since their first Test in June 1932, winning 43 and losing 25 out of a total of 117. On home turf, England has won 30 Tests and India have emerged winners on six occasions, with 21 encounters ending in draws.

    Edgbaston has hosted six Tests between the two sides, with England leading 5-0 on a head-to-head.

    These statistics will give England further impetus to their ambitions of improving their current ranking of fifth on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings. If England makes a 5-0 sweep, then they will jump to second on the table with a 10-point rise to 107 points, reducing the pre-series gap with top-ranked India from 28 points to just five points.

    In contrast, if India can display the strength and prowess which has made them the highest-ranked side in the world, then they will further strengthen their grip on the top spot. If India wins 5-0, then they will rise to 129 points and England will drop to sixth place on 94 points.

    The followers of the most challenging format of the game will also be keeping a close watch on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings as India captain Kohli will look to snatch the coveted number-one position from Australia’s Smith, while England fast bowler James Anderson will aim to defend his number-one ranking.

    Kohli trails Smith by 26 points and will have to produce a string of strong performances to leapfrog the Australian, while Anderson will also need wickets to either defend or consolidate his top spot.

    Apart from Kohli and Anderson, both sides comprise players who feature prominently in the Test player rankings who, during the course of the series, will be hoping to make upward movements. This makes the upcoming series a perfect recipe for entertaining, interesting and enthralling red ball cricket.

    Among the batsmen, both England and India have five each inside the top-50. From England, Joe Root is ranked third (48 points behind Kohli), Alistair Cook 13th, Jonny Bairstow 16th, Ben Stokes 28th and Moeen Ali 43rd, while India’s Cheteshwar Pujara is sixth, followed by Lokesh Rahul 18th, Ajinkya Rahane 19th, Murali Vijay 23rd and Shikhar Dhawan 24th.

    Among the bowlers and besides Anderson, Stuart Broad is the other bowler who features inside the top-30 in 12th position.

    In contrast, India boasts six bowlers inside the top-30, including two spinners in Ravindra Jadeja (third) and Ravichandran Ashwin (fifth), and four fast bowlers, namely Mohammed Shami (17th), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (25th), Ishant Sharma (26th) and Umesh Yadav (28th).

    India’s left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who caused problems for the England batsmen in the ODI series, is ranked outside the top-50 in 56th position.

    The Test player rankings will now be updated following the conclusion of the Edgbaston Test, while the Test team rankings will be updated following the conclusion of the fifth and final Test at The Oval.

    Series schedule

    • 1-5 August – 1st Test, Edgbaston
    • 9-13 August – 2nd Test, Lord’s
    • 18-22 August – 3rd Test, Trent Bridge
    • 30 August – 3 September – 4th Test, Hampshire Bowl
    • 7-11 September – 5th Test, The Oval

    MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings (as on 30 July, before the start of England v India Test series):

    1 India 125
    2 South Africa 106
    3 Australia 106
    4 New Zealand 102
    5 England 97
    6 Sri Lanka 97
    7 Pakistan 88
    8 West Indies 77
    9 Bangladesh 67
    10 Zimbabwe 02
    11 Afghanistan 00
    12 Ireland 00

    MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings (as on 30 July, before the start of Edgbaston Test):

    BATSMEN (top 10)    

    Rank Player  Team  Points Avge Highest Rating
    1  Steve Smith  Aus  929 61.37 947 v SA at Durban 2018
    2 Virat Kohli Ind  903 53.40  912 v SA at Johannesburg 2018
    3 Joe Root  Eng 855 52.28  917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015 
    4 Kane Williamson  NZ  847  50.35  893 v Aus at Perth 2015
    5  David Warner  Aus 820  48.20 880 v NZ at Perth 2015
    6 C. Pujara  Ind  799  50.34 888 v SL at Nagpur 2017
    7  D. Karunaratne SL  754! 37.28 754 v SA at Colombo (SSC) 2018
    8 D. Chandimal SL 733 44.96 755 v Win at St Lucia 2018
    9 Dean Elgar SA 724 41.05  784 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018
    10  Aiden Markram  SA  703* 47.27 759 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

    BOWLERS (top 10)

    Rank Player Team Points Ave Highest Rating
    1  James Anderson Eng  892 27.23  896 v Win at Lord’s 2017 
    2 Kagiso Rabada SA  882  21.71  902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018
    3  Ravindra Jadeja Ind 866  23.11  899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017
    4  Vernon Philander SA  826  21.54 912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013
     5  R. Ashwin Ind 811 25.34  904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016
    6  Pat Cummins Aus  800*!  23.81 800 v SA at Johannesburg 2018
    7  Trent Boult NZ 795 27.84  825 v Eng at Lord’s 2015
    8  Rangana Herath SL 791 27.95  867 v Zim at Harare 2016
    9  Neil Wagner  NZ  765 28.26  785 v Win at Wellington 2017
    10 Josh Hazlewood  Aus  759 26.84 863 v Ind at Bengaluru 2017

    ALL-ROUNDERS (top five)

    Rank Player Team  Points Highest Rating
    1 Shakib Al Hasan Ban  420 489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017
    2 Ravindra Jadeja  Ind 394 438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017
    3  Vernon Philander SA 370 379 v SL at Galle 2018
    4  R. Ashwin  Ind  365 493 v Eng at Mohali 2016
    5  Jason Holder Win 354* 355 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

    (Developed by David Kendix)

    *indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.

    !indicates career-highest rating

    Photo: Philip Brown/Getty Images

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    Simon Lewis