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Pakistan eyeing to derail African safari in ICC Test ranking

Karachi, Sep 30 (UNI) Pakistan will be eagerly looking forward to swap places with South Africa in the ICC Test Championship table, when the two teams go head-to-head in the two-Test series starting in Karachi tommorow.

Pakistan, currently placed sixth in the test rankings, can leapfrog Graeme Smith's side if it wins the series. Victory in both the tests will earn the home side five rating points, while a 1-0 win will give them four rating points.

The margins will, in turn, cost South Africa five points for two defeats and three points if it goes down by one match.

However, the series triumph will bring the Proteas closer to Sri Lanka and India, who were just above them in the Championship table.

Meanwhile, success in both the matches would lift South Afric to the same mark as those two line-ups, although it would remain fifth when the ratings of the three sides are calculated to three decimal places, while a 1-0 series success would take Smith's side to 105 rating points, two points behind the sides above it.

For Pakistan, it will be Shoaib Malik's first Test series in charge, and will mark the start of a busy period in the longer version of the game with a tour to India and a home series against Australia to follow suit.

Success in the upcoming rubber and the two that follows should go some way towards helping the Malik's men to climb up towards the top of the table as it occupied the third spot recently in the first half of this year.

However, Pakistan slipped down the ladder when the annual ICC Test Championship table took place in July, something that reflects current form.

The listing is certainly congested, with just 12 rating points separating second-placed England and seventh-placed New Zealand, so this series is significant not only for the two sides taking part but also for other teams in the fray.

Interestingly, in case of a drawn series, both the teams would maintain their current positions.

Meanwhile, Pakistan 'run machine' Mohammad Yousuf, who rejected a lucrative ICL offer and made his way back into the national side, will be looking to close the gap with Australia captain Ricky Ponting who occupies the top batsman position in the Test rankings.

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Story first published: Sunday, September 30, 2007, 17:05 [IST]
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