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Ashes gives Eng chance to overtake Oz

England <g data-gr-id="22">have</g> an opportunity to overtake Australia and move to as high as the second spot in the Test cricket rankings during the five-match Ashes series starting from Wednesday in Cardiff.

England, currently fifth-placed with 97 points, must win 3-0 or better against second-placed Australia (111 points) to occupy the position. A 3-0 or 4-1 England win will move them above Australia, an International Cricket Council (ICC) release said on Monday.

South Africa head the table with 130 points. India <g data-gr-id="23">are</g> fourth with 97 points, just ahead of England and sixth-placed Pakistan (also 97) on decimal points. England will, however, drop to seventh if Australia win 5-0. 

Australia will reduce the gap with South Africa to 12 points if they win the series. A 2-2 draw in the series will take England to third with 100 points, above current occupier New Zealand (99) with Australia retaining their second spot but dropping two points. 

Australia vice-captain Steven Smith (913) will defend his top slot in the Test batting rankings as he holds a five-point advantage over South Africa’s AB de Villiers. 
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