Shuffling of pack on the cards in ODI team and player rankings
Dubai: Exciting time awaits international cricket in the next couple of weeks as six top-ranked sides in the ICC ODI Team Rankings, including second-placed India go head to head with eyes firmly set on next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, which is just 175 days away.
Hambantota will host the first of three matches between Sri Lanka and Pakistan tomorrow, while in Harare on Monday, the tri-series between Australia, South Africa and Zimbabwe gets underway with the opening match between the host and Australia.
Also on Monday, Bristol will stage the first ODI of the five-match series between India and England.
In the meantime, eighth-ranked West Indies is already involved in its series against ninth-ranked Bangladesh, and leads the three-match series 1-0. This series concludes on Monday.
There is a lot to play for in the 17 matches scheduled over the next 16 days. Not only are the six top sides separated by just 15 ratings points, but the captains and the coaches will have their sights firmly set on the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, which kicks off in Christchurch and Melbourne on February 14.
There is further context to these matches as India and Pakistan will be hoping to avenge their defeats in their respective Test series.
Sri Lanka won both its matches against Pakistan while England came from behind to wrap up the series against India 3-1. While doing so, both England and Sri Lanka moved ahead of their respective opponents in the Reliance ICC Test Team Championship table.
In Harare, Australia and South Africa will do battle for the number-one position in the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings, with Michael Clarke’s men sitting on top of the tree, and South Africa just three ratings points behind in the third position behind India.
Meanwhile, there are battles within battles when the Reliance ICC ODI Player Rankings are taken into account.