Kolkata, Nov 4: Sachin Tendulkar will enter his farewell series at 24th position in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen and will aim to finish his illustrious career inside the top 20.
Tendulkar trails 18th ranked Matt Prior of England by 15 ratings points, and strong performances either in Kolkata or Mumbai will see him sign off on a high.
Tendulkar has previously held the number one spot, having first topped the batting charts in November 1994 when he overtook Brian Lara in Mumbai after knocks of 34 and 85 against the West Indies. He last held the top spot in June 2011 before surrendering it to South Africa’s Jacques Kallis after deciding to give the series in the West Indies a miss.
Tendulkar topped the batting tables five times in his career – November 1994, March 1998, May 2000, early 2002 and October 2010. He also spent a total of 139 Tests (fourth most) and 1,157 days (12th most) as the top-ranked batsman in Test cricket.
Besides Tendulkar, it will also be an opportunity for India’s highest-ranked batsman Cheteshwar Pujara to improve his ranking. Pujara is currently sitting in seventh position. He has so far scored 1,180 runs at an average of 65.55 in 22 innings.
While India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Chris Gayle share 20th position and will both be looking to improve their rankings, Virat Kohli and Darren Bravo share 22nd spot, three ratings points behind Dhoni and Gayle.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who won the ICC Cricketer of the Year Award in 2008, is the highest-ranked batsman from either side, in third position, with number-one ranked AB de Villiers firmly within his sights. The South African leads the West Indian by 29 ratings points.
Marlon Samuels is the other West Indies batsman who sits inside the top 20, in 16th position, and will be looking for an upward movement.
In the bowlers rankings, Ravichandran Ashwin is the highest-ranked bowler from either side, in eighth position.
Other bowlers sitting inside the top 20 include Pragyan Ojha (11th), Kemar Roach (14th) and Zaheer Khan (17th), while bowlers outside the top 20 are Shane Shillingford (21st), Darren Sammy (28th), Ishant Sharma (32nd) and Umesh Yadav (50th).
The all-rounders’ list is headed by Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh with Ashwin as the highest-ranked player from either side in third spot, 11 ratings points behind Kallis.
In the team Rankings, there may be a reshuffle in the order, depending on how the series pans out.
India (116) leads the West Indies (99) by 17 ratings points and this difference means it should win the series. Because the rankings are weighted to reflect this difference, India’s failure to win the series will result in it losing points.
If the series ends in a draw, India will retain third position but will slip to 114 ratings points while the West Indies will join Australia on 101 ratings points but will be ranked above Michael Clarke’s men when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.
If India wins the series 1-0, then it will move ahead of England into second place on 117 ratings points, while a 2-0 win will put it in second place on 119 ratings points.