DUBAI: Pakistan, who were humbled by Australia in both T20 and one-day series, have the perfect opportunity to claim third place in the ICC Test rankings if they beat the visitors in both matches.
The national team currently lies in joint sixth with India, but a 2-0 win will take them to the third spot behind South Africa and Australia, while a 1-0 win will push them to a respectable fourth.
Even a 1-1 draw will see Pakistan edge India to fifth place, while Australia will slip three points behind leaders South Africa.
However, the Australians also have a major incentive to play for as a 2-0 win over Pakistan will lift Michael Clarke’s men to the top of the summit — one point clear of South Africa, who currently hold the top spot. A 1-0 series victory will enable Australia to join the Proteas at 124 points, but the latter will continue to hold the slenderest advantage of 0.24.
Australia were the top-ranked Test side between May and July 2014 before South Africa overtook them. Prior to that, the Kangaroos last held the number one position from 2002, when the new rankings system was introduced, until August 2009.
In Test batsmen rankings, Pakistan only have one representation in the top 10 as Misbahul Haq sits on the edge in 10th position, while Younus Khan is further down at 11th.
On the other hand, Australia will be looking to the fit-again Clarke (seventh) and its top-ranked batsman David Warner (fifth) to lay the platform for their innings.
Pakistan’s three bowlers in the top 20 – Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan and Abdur Rehman – are not part of the squad due to different reasons.
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