How does it all get worked out?

The basis of the table is that it takes into account each team’s current form, how well each team plays in a series – not just the overall score.

It takes into account whether a team is playing at home or away, who won the toss and the exact result of each match!

The table is changed in proportion to how many tests are played – thus winning a five test series is better than winning a two test contest

To gain from a series you have to win by a bigger margin (or lose by a lesser margin) than your (and your opponent’s) current standing suggests you will.

The details!

  • Two teams contest the series – they come into it with scores X & Y and they will play a number of tests (T)
  • They gain series points by winning matches (more points if away from home, more points if lost toss) or if they are the away team in a drawn match.
  • Added to these points are the series run per wicket each team gets. (The away team’s runs per wicket is adjusted to reflect the away disadvantage).
Win toss & win match Lose toss & win match Draw Lose match Series run-rate
Home 9.75 10.25 0 0 total runs scored / total wickets lost
Away 11.75 12.25 2 0 1.1 x total runs / total wickets
  • The series points are added up to give scores Q & R for each team. These are adjusted so that Q2+R2 = X+Y
  • The number of tests is placed into a formula T/(T+6) to give the fraction (G) that the current series is worth of the team’s total points: (G x Q2) + (1-G)X = new table totalĀ e.g. if 3 tests are played the series points gained are worth 1/3 of their new total and their previous table score is worth 2/3.
An example… 3 match series between Sri Lanka and England from Dec 2003 (Sri Lanka won 1-0, there were 2 draws)
Sri Lanka - home team England - away team
Existing score before series began B & C 35.46 41.19
Total score available is B + C = 76.65
Test results 1 home win (away team won toss) 2 away drawers
Points scored from match results Q 10.25 4
Total runs / wickets losts 1846/45 1437/56
Calculate run rates R 41.02 Add 10% 28.23
Total scores gained from series Q + R = Tot-home(H) & Tot-away(A) 51.27 32.23
Total score gained is H + A = 83.50
Adjusted series score to equal total points available H-adj = H x (B+C)/(H+A) A-adj = A x (B+C)/(H+A) 47.06 29.59
The adjusted scores totalled together now equal the Total Score Available
The series is worth G and G=T/(T+6) where T is number of tests - therefore 3/(3+6) = 33.33% = G
New total (G x H-adj) + ((1-G) x B) (G x A-adj) + ((1-G) x C) 1/3*47.06 + 2/3*35.46 1/3*29.59 + 2/3*41.19
39.33 37.32

Check out the FAQ to see why these figures were chosen and also to see how the ratings have developed over the years.