How deficient, Present ICC rating system?

As all of us are aware that ICC updates team rankings after each match completed in the case of ODIs and T20s, but for Test matches they are updated after completion of each series. Let us understand the test ranking system and focus on the deficiencies in the ranking system.

The rating system is based on assigning points to teams for every Test match played, and then averaging it out over all Tests played by the team during the period under consideration. The final rating is thus an average score for the team during that period.

The points awarded to a team depends on the strength of the opposition. A win against a stronger opposition counts for more than a win against a weak opposition. The strength of the opposition is determined by their rating points at the start of the series, and updates happen only at the end of a series, not after each Test.

How does the calculation work in a series?

 Each team gets one point for a Test win, 0.5 points for a draw, and an extra point for a series win.

The method for calculating the rating points in a series depends on the relative strengths of the two teams playing that series. If the difference in rating points between the two teams at the start of the series is less than 40, then each team gets:

  • The team’s series points multiplied by 50 points more than the opposition’s rating points, plus
  • The opposition’s series points (2 in the above example) multiplied by 50 points less than the opposition’s rating points.

If the difference in rating points between the two teams at the start of the series is 40 or more points, then the stronger team gets:

  • The team’s series points multiplied by 10 points more than the team’s own rating, plus
  • The opposition’s series points multiplied by 90 points less than the team’s own rating.

The weaker team gets:

  • The team’s series points multiplied by 90 points more than the team’s own rating, plus
  • The opposition’s series points multiplied by 10 points less than the team’s own rating

This series score is added to the team’s previous total ratings points, and divided by total number of matches plus series played to arrive at an average score for the team, which is their rating points.

Deficiencies in rating system

  • No extra weightage given to an away wins, only opposition strength is taken into account. Certainly away wins should carry extra weightage rather than home series because teams accustomed to home conditions perform well in general but same is not true in case of away series because pitch and climatic conditions change considerably.
  • Unless all teams plays equal number of home and away matches during the ranking period, the rating system cannot be accurate.
  • Team’s rating point at the start of the series is considered but not second-string teams for reasons other than team strength, for example due to security reasons some good players opt-out of some series.

Primepost Sports  Bureau

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