England slump to sixth place in Test rankings – their lowest position for 27 YEARS – with torrid form under Joe Root seeing them slip 40 points behind world No 1 Australia ahead of the start of Ben Stokes’ captaincy era
- England were in third a year ago but have since won just one Test in 17 matches
- Australians surged to a 128-point rating by delivering a 4-0 Ashes drubbing
- Pat Cummins’ side then followed that up with an historic series win in Pakistan
- England have dropped to sixth after defeats to India, Australia and West Indies
The size of the task facing Ben Stokes in his bid to return England to the higher echelons of Test cricket mushroomed on Wednesday when the ICC’s annual rankings update plunged them to a 27-year low.
And to make matters worse, their woeful run of form has seen them slip a huge 40 points behind leaders Australia.
Twelve months ago, England were in third place, above Pat Cummins’ team by a point but a drastic contrast in fortunes for the Ashes rivals since has completely altered the outlook.
England have slumped to their lowest Test position for 27 years in the latest ICC rankings
Their woeful run of form has seen them slip a huge 40 points behind leaders Australia
While the Australians surged to the top of the standings and a 128-point rating by delivering a 4-0 drubbing on Joe Root’s side last winter and then followed up with an historic series win in Pakistan, England have dropped to sixth on the back of just one victory in 17 matches.
The Stokes captaincy era will open against his native New Zealand at Lord’s next month with a seven-point advantage over seventh-placed Sri Lanka and 11 over West Indies, who inflicted the 1-0 loss in the Caribbean in March that drove Root to resign.
Australia held a one-point advantage over the field before this week’s re-calculations but that has now swelled to nine after the results of the 2018-19 season were expunged.
The Ben Stokes captaincy era will open against his native New Zealand at Lord’s next month
Only results from May 2019 onwards are now reflected in the table, with series for the following two years carrying a 50% weighting and those in the past 12 months counted fully.
England’s dive to 88 points – their lowest tally since 1995 – was catalysed by their 4-1 home success over India in 2018 no longer valid.
Things could get worse too as points for last year’s subsequent series against the Indians – which England currently trail 2-1 – will only be applied once the abandoned fifth match is replayed at the end of June.
White-ball affairs are much healthier, with Eoin Morgan-led teams remaining in second place in both one-day and Twenty20 cricket.
Things could get worse too as points for last year’s subsequent series against the Indians