Dubai, July 6: The latest installment in the Ashes rivalry between England and Australia starts in Cardiff on Wednesday (July 8) as the two sides bid to hold possession of the prestigious Urn in what is expected to be a keenly-contested and hard-fought 5-Test series.
England are currently sitting in 5th place on 97 ratings points, trailing India and ahead of Pakistan by a fraction of a point, while Australia are in second spot on 111 ratings points.
This means England have an opportunity to move to as high as 2nd in ICC Test Rankings if they win the series by 3-0 or better, but will drop to as low as 7th if Australia win all five Tests, ICC said in a media release today.
In contrast, Australia will jump to 118 points to reduce the gap with number-one ranked South Africa to 12 points but will drop to 4th if England wins all the five Tests and irrespective of how the Pallekele Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan ends.
In fact, a 3-0 or 4-1 result in the favour of England will mean Australia will drop behind England in third position.
The clash in the Welsh capital will be the 321st Test which dates back to 1882. Australia has won 128 matches compared to England's 103, with 89 draws to date.
Though Australia secured a five-nil clean sweep last time out, recent form would indicate that triumph favours the home side as England has won four of the last six Ashes, including the last three consecutive home series (in 2005, 2009 and 2013). Australia last won on English soil back in 2001 (4-1).
The following are the permutations for the forthcoming Ashes series
England (97 pts) Vs Australia (111 pts)
# If England win 5-0, then Australia 99 pts, Eng 108 pts
# If Eng win 4-1, then Aus 102 pts, Eng 105 pts
# If Eng win 3-2, then Aus 106 pts, Eng 102 pts
# If Aus win 5-0, then Eng 91 pts, Aus 118 pts
# If Aus win 4-1, then Eng 94 pts, Aus 115 pts
# If Aus win 3-2, then Eng 97 pts, Aus 112 pts
# If the series is drawn 2-2, then Eng 100 pts, Aus 109 pts
8-12 July - 1st Test, Cardiff
16-20 July - 2nd Test, Lord's
29 Jul-2 August - 3rd Test, Edgbaston
6-10 August - 4th Test, Trent Bridge
20-24 August - 5th Test, The Oval
ICC Test Team Rankings with rating points (as on 6 July, ahead of England-Australia Test series and before the conclusion of Sri Lanka-Pakistan Test series)
1. South Africa 130
2. Australia 111
3. New Zealand 99
4. India 97
5. England 97
6. Pakistan 97
7. Sri Lanka 96
8. West Indies 81
9. Bangladesh 41
10. Zimbabwe 5