Cape Town - Pakistan host Australia for a two-match series in the United Arab Emirates starting on Sunday, with both sides having the chance to improve their positions in the ICC Test team rankings.
The series gives Pakistan the opportunity to edge Sri Lanka to sixth position if they are able to complete a 2-0 series win over the opposition, while a 1-0 series win will be enough for Australia to overtake South Africa and claim second position behind India.
Pakistan will move to 97 points if they win both Tests and ahead of Sri Lanka on decimal points while Australia, who are presently on 106 points and behind South Africa only on decimal points, will move ahead with a series win.
They will advance to 107 points with a 1-0 win and to 109 points if they prevail 2-0.
In a series that starts earlier on Thursday, India will be looking to ensure they do not lose any points in a bid to maintain their top position.
India lead the table with 115 points but only stand to gain one point even with a 2-0 series win owing to the large difference in rating points with the West Indies.
On the other hand, India can slip to 108 points with an unlikely 2-0 loss and Australia could overtake them if they defeat Pakistan 2-0.
For the West Indies, even a 2-0 series win will at best help them bridge the gap with Pakistan and Sri Lanka but will not pull them up from their present eighth position.
India v West Indies
India win 2-0: India 116 points, West Indies 76 points
India win 1-0: India 114, West Indies 78
Drawn series: India 112, West Indies 81
West Indies win 1-0: India 109, West Indies 84
West Indies win 2-0: India 108, West Indies 85
Pakistan v Australia
Pakistan win 2-0: Pakistan 97 points, Australia 100 points
Pakistan win 1-0: Pakistan 95, Australia 102
Drawn series: Pakistan 90, Australia 105
Australia win 1-0: Pakistan 86, Australia 107
Australia win 2-0: Pakistan 84, Australia 109