London: South Africa, placed second in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Test championship standings, will take on eighth placed India in a three-Test series from Saturday.
|Given South Africa's strong home record, it beat India 2-0 in 1996-97, a series victory would confirm its position in second place, and give a timely boost ahead of its back-to-back series with current champion Australia, according to an official ICC press release. A series victory for India, its first overseas since defeating Sri Lanka in a three-match rubber in 1993-94, would not affect South Africa's standing, but its points average would drop from 1.50 to 1.38 (22 points from 16 series). A win would move India one place up the championship table to seventh (11 points from 13 series), overtaking Pakistan, which currently lies seventh with an average of 0.73 (11 points from 15 series). A drawn rubber would also take India above Pakistan, increasing its points average to 0.77 (10 points from 13 series). South Africa's points average would drop to 1.44 (23 points from 16 series) but not affect its second placed status. A series defeat would not move India further down the table, but would give Zimbabwe the chance to make up ground during its visits to Bangladesh And Sri Lanka in November and December, the release added. Meanwhile, the ICC confirmed details of the match referee and umpire appointments for the series. Former England captain and middle order batsman Mike Denness has been named as the match referee. Sri Lanka's Asoka De Silva will officiate as the ICC panel umpire in the first Test at Bloemfontein. Zimbabwe's Russell Tiffin will stand in the second Test commencing at Port Elizabeth from November 16, while England's George Sharp will take the final match at Centurion. |