Winning both matches of the home series against West Indies could see New Zealand overtake England and move into third position in the ICC World Test Championship points table.
New Zealand will be aiming to make full use of home conditions in their two-match World Test Championship (WTC) series against the West Indies from Thursday as they bid to move up in the points table led by Australia.
New Zealand are fourth in terms of percentage points won, the factor that determines the final placings, following a change to the points system announced last week owing to the disruption of international cricket due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Winning both matches of the series, in Hamilton and Wellington, could see them overtake England and move into third position with 0.625 percentage points after four series, having previously drawn 1-1 with Sri Lanka and lost 3-0 to Australia before pulling off a 2-0 home series win over India.
Australia overtook India to the top position and the two teams will fight it out in a four-Test series immediately after this one while New Zealand get another chance to get WTC points on the board with a two-Test home series against Pakistan starting on 26 December.
Each series of the WTC is worth 120 points, distributed evenly over the number of matches in a series. The points range from 60 for each match of a two-Test series to 24 for each match of a five-Test series.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will be leading a few top-ranked players as they aim to progress in the ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings.
Williamson, a formerly top-ranked player, is the only batter from either side in the top 10, in 4th position. Tom Latham (12th), Ross Taylor (15th) and Henry Nicholls (19th) are in the top 20, a reflection of the team’s strong batting line up.
New Zealand excel in the bowling department in rankings terms, with pace bowlers Neil Wagner (3rd), Tim Southee (4th) and Trent Boult (10th) all among the top 10.
For the West Indies, captain Jason Holder is their leading player in all three lists, he is the top-ranked all-rounder, 5th on the bowlers list and ranked 43rd among batters.
Fast bowlers Kemar Roach (15th) and Shannon Gabriel (20th) are their leading bowlers.
ICC Test Player Rankings (as of 1 Dec 2020, before the New Zealand-West Indies series):
Batting (top 10)
|1||Steve Smith||Aus||911||62.84||947 v SA at Durban 2018|
|2||Virat Kohli||India||886||53.62||937 v Eng at Southampton 2018|
|3||M Labuschagne||Aus||827*!||63.43||827 v NZ at Sydney 2020|
|4||K Williamson||NZ||781||50.99||915 v Ban at Hamilton 2019|
|5||Babar Azam||Pak||797||45.44||800 v Ban at Rawalpindi 2020|
|6||David Warner||Aus||793||48.94||880 v NZ at Perth 2015|
|7||C Pujara||India||766||48.66||888 v SL at Nagpur 2017|
|8||Ben Stokes||Eng||760||37.84||827 v WI at Old Trafford 2020|
|9||Joe Root||Eng||738||47.99||917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015|
|10||Ajinkya Rahane||India||726||42.88||825 v NZ at Indore 2016|
Other selected rankings
|12||Tom Latham||NZ||710||42.34||724 v SL at Colombo (PSS) 2019|
|15||Ross Taylor||NZ||677||46.10||870 v WI at Hamilton 2013|
|19||Henry Nicholls||NZ||652||39.70||778 v Ban at Wellington 2019|
|25||BJ Watling||NZ||621||38.50||696 v Eng at Hamilton 2019|
|39=||Tom Blundell||NZ||561*!||47.22||561 v India at Christchurch 2020|
|43||Jason Holder||WI||553||31.93||581 v Eng at Barbados 2019|
|48||Shane Dowrich||WI||521||29.07||562 v Eng at Southampton 2020|
|53||Roston Chase||WI||508||30.86||626 v Pak at Dominica 2017|
|54||S Hetmyer||WI||505*||27.93||561 v Eng at Barbados 2019|
|55||Lokesh Rahul||India||504||34.58||761 v SL at Pallekele 2017|
|56||S Brooks||WI||503*||33.54||536 v Eng at Old Trafford|
Bowling (top 10)
|1||Pat Cummins||Aus||904||21.82||914 v Eng at Old Trafford 2019|
|2||Stuart Broad||Eng||845||27.65||880 v SA at Johannesburg 2016|
|3||Neil Wagner||NZ||843||26.60||859 v Aus at Melbourne 2019|
|4||Tim Southee||NZ||812!||29.00||812 v India at Christchurch 2020|
|5||Jason Holder||WI||810||26.69||862 v Eng at Southampton 2020|
|6||Kagiso Rabada||SA||802||22.95||902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018|
|7||Mitchell Starc||Aus||797||26.97||807 v NZ at Perth 2019|
|8||J Anderson||Eng||781||26.79||903 v India at Lord’s 2018|
|9||Jasprit Bumrah||India||779*||20.33||834 v WI at Jamaica 2019|
|10||Trent Boult||NZ||770||27.65||825 v Eng at Lord’s 2015|
Other selected rankings
|15||Kemar Roach||WI||744||27.51||781 v India at Jamaica 2019|
|20||S Gabriel||WI||663||30.76||758 v Ban at Jamaica 2018|
|31||Roston Chase||WI||505*!||41.15||505 v Eng at Old Trafford 2020|
|42||Kyle Jamieson||NZ||335*!||16.33||335 v India at Christchurch 2020|
All-rounders (top five)
|1||Jason Holder||WI||447||485 v Eng at Southampton 2020|
|2||Ben Stokes||Eng||446||497 v WI at Old Trafford 2020|
|3||R Jadeja||India||397||438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017|
|4||Mitchell Starc||Aus||298||346 v India at Pune 2017|
|5||R Ashwin||India||281||492 v Eng at Mohali 2016|