I have spent the last few months working on a system that ranks teams based on results at home/away and quality of opposition. I have come up with the following current ranking for teams:
South Africa 594
New Zealand 522
Sri Lanka 498
West Indies 427
A rating above 500 represents an above-average team. A rating below 400 represents a minnow. Bangladesh have climbed above the minnow threshold with their victory today over Sri Lanka.
The ratings look similar to the official ICC version. The difference is that I use 500 as an average score instead of 100. My system also takes into account performances at home vs. away. I wanted to add in margin of victory but I found it to be problematic.
A test win is worth 750 points. A draw gets 500 points and a loss 250 points. A series score is the average match results. So, in a three test series, if a team wins 2-1, then their series score would be 583 ((750+750+250)/3). This series score is then adjusted based on the rating of the opposition and whether the team was playing at home or away.
The series score is then added to their rating before the series. How much a team's rating will chance based on their series result is dependent on how many matches were played in the series. A 5 match series will change a team's rating a lot more than a single match series.
If we use the current India-Australia series as an example, if India win the series 2-1, then their series score is 563. This is upgraded to 612 because they are playing a strong Australian team with a rating of 581.
India's current rating is 626. Their series score of 612 is added and weighted against their current rating and produces a new rating of 624, a very minor adjustment.
Australia meanwhile if they lose the series 1-2 will have a series score of 437. Taking into account their opposition and the fact that they are playing away from home, their series score is adjusted to 530.
Their new rating will be 573.
Therefore, both teams' ratings will not change by that much at all. At other points in history, teams have lost a series 0-5 and their rating dropped dramatically. England in 2006/07 went from 599-544 after being whitewashed in the Ashes.
Here are the top 10 highest ratings achieved by test teams
Australia 2007 714
West Indies 1986 667
Australia 1952 642
South Africa 2013 641
England 2011 639
Australia 1959 630
India 2016 626
India 2010 620
Australia 2016 612
Australia 1976 609
I have attached a spreadsheet that shows the historical ratings of all test teams.
A final note, teams start with a rating of 400. South Africa after being reinstated as a test team in 1992 began with a rating of 400, which did not reflect their strength. However, they soon had a rating of over 500.
I hope you find the historical ratings interesting and worth discussing/debating.
I will use these ratings to rate individual test performances and then to rate the top 100 test batsmen and bowlers. I hope to also share those results in the months to come.