Gibson eyes top spot

03 January 2018 03:53:56 GMTPlus11
Ottis Gibson

South Africa cricket coach Ottis Gibson is hoping that the forthcoming Test series will help his team overtake opponents India as world number one.

India are currently the top side in Test rankings with the South Africans at number two, but Gibson's side will overtake them if they win the series between the sides 3-0 and then beat Australia by at least two Tests in their forthcoming series.

The objective for this team is to try and get to No. 1.

Ottis Gibson

It looks a tall order but Gibson says ranking matters in Test matches as opposed to one day cricket.

Ahead of the first Test against India, starting in Cape Town on Friday, Gibson said: "In one-day cricket, I don't worry too much about rankings because it's built around a four-year cycle of World Cup cricket.

"In Test cricket it's different. You play a series against the best teams in the world and then the prize at the end of it is to reach the pinnacle and be called the best team in the world - even if it is just for a series or a week. The objective for this team is to try and get to No. 1."

As a first step towards achieving that they need to beat India at Newlands and they will probably have to do so without Dale Steyn who had been earmarked for a long awaited return to Test cricket but may have to wait until the second Test.

Gibson says he is fit but may not be risked for the first match in the series. However the side should have AB de Villiers back after a sabbatical with Chris Morris, Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis all expected to be fit to play.

Following a three-Test series, South Africa and India meet for six one day internationals and three T20 matches before the Proteas prepare for a Test series against Australia starting in March.

South Africa are 1.57 to win the first Test with India 4.75 and the draw priced at 4.50.

India are 2.50 to have a first innings lead.

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