Dubai, Oct 21: Australia have a chance to reclaim the top spot in the ICC Test Team Rankings when they face hosts Pakistan in the two-Test series in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which starts on Wednesday (October 22) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
A 2-0 series win over Pakistan will lift Michael Clarke's side to the top of the summit - one point clear of South Africa, which currently holds top spot, ICC said.
A 1-0 series victory will move Australia to join South Africa level on 124 points, but the Proteas will continue to hold the slenderest of 0.24 of an advantage.
In contrast, a 1-0 victory for sixth-place Pakistan, which currently lies level on points with India, will move it up two ratings places to fourth, while a 2-0 win will push them even further up the ladder into third place, 12 points behind Australia, which will lose further ground on South Africa.
Even a 1-1 draw will see Pakistan edge clear of India, while Australia will slip three points behind the leaders.
Australia was most recently the number-one ranked Test side between May and July 2014, before South Africa overtook them. Before then, Australia last held top spot since the new rankings system was introduced in 2002 until August 2009.
ICC Test Team Rankings (as on 21 October, ahead of Pakistan-Australia and Bangladesh-Zimbabwe series)
(Read as Rank, Team, Rating)
1 South Africa 124
2 Australia 123
3 England 104
4 Sri Lanka 101
5 India 96
6 Pakistan 96
7 New Zealand 93
8 West Indies 75
9 Zimbabwe 39
10 Bangladesh 19