Australia have a chance to reclaim the top spot in the ICC Test Team Rankings when they face host Pakistan in the two-Test series in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which starts on Wednesday in the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. (Also read: Australia's Shane Watson fit for long summer)
A two-nil series win over Pakistan will lift Michael Clarke's charges to the top of the summit -- one point clear of South Africa, which currently holds top spot. A one-nil 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 one-nil victory for sixth-place Pakistan, who currently are 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 were 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.