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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

India will retake second place with win over England

India will go second in the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table if it beats England in the upcoming two-Test series that gets underway in Chennai on Thursday.

By winning the series 1-0 or 2-0, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team will overtake South Africa and recapture second, a position it had briefly enjoyed after its 2-0 home series victory over Australia recently.

South Africa will have an immediate opportunity to take back that place with a three-match series in Australia on the horizon. The first match of that series begins in Perth on 17 December.

England will also be eyeing a good opportunity while in India. A 2-0 series win will see it move up one place to fourth in the standings, ahead of Sri Lanka. That result would also bring it to within three ratings points of India in third position.

A drawn series or a 1-0 win for England would leave the teams in their current positions although in both instances, India would lose ground on South Africa while Kevin Pietersen’s team would close the gap on Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, close rivals the West Indies and New Zealand do battle over the next couple of weeks in a two-Test series in the Land of the Long White Cloud. The first Test takes place in Dunedin beginning on Thursday with the second one scheduled for Napier from 19 December.

At present, New Zealand is placed in eighth position, just a fraction of a ratings point behind the West Indies. A drawn series would leave that state of affairs unchanged but a 1-0 or 2-0 win for the Black Caps would see them leap-frog over Chris Gayle and his men.

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