India’s reign at the top of Test cricket is unlikely to last long.
India’s schedule has only two Tests in the near future, against Bangladesh in January 2010. Beating Bangladesh — last on the ratings table — will not get India too many more points.
In contrast, teams right behind India in the ratings will add many more points if they win. If South Africa, who play four Tests against England in December-January, can win 2-0 or do better, they will leapfrog past India. Australia play West Indies, followed by Pakistan. If they thrash both teams, they too will edge past India.
There is little India can do about it. India’s next Test encounter is a home series against New Zealand in October, followed by a tour of South Africa.
India’s rise to the top is well deserved. They have not lost a Test series since August 2008 that, ironically enough, was while touring Sri Lanka. India have not lost a single match in the last four series they’ve played.
At least until January 18, 2010, when the England-South Africa series ends, India are No. 1. Nothing can change that.