South Africa looking to return to number one

An interesting battle for the top spot in the ICC ODI Team Rankings could be in the offing as South Africa can displace India if they win the upcoming series against Bangladesh by a 3-0 margin.

India overtook South Africa earlier this month with a 4-1 win in a home series against Australia and are one point ahead at 120 points.

But South Africa will go ahead of India on decimal points with a 2-0 lead in the series and could reach 121 points with a 3-0 series win.

However, they can only remain at the top if India are unable to win the opening match of their three-match series against New Zealand which will be played the same day as the last South Africa-Bangladesh match – on 22 October.

If India win that match, they too will be on 121 points but ahead on decimal point calculation. However, India will have to go on to win the series against New Zealand 3-0 to retain the top spot as anything less will see South Africa regain the number one position should they win the series against Bangladesh 3-0.

Meanwhile, Champions Trophy winners Pakistan will be hoping to consolidate their sixth position on the table. They presently have 95 points, nine more than their opposition, and can go up to 99 points with a 5-0 win.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka have a tough task if they hope to overtake Pakistan like they did in the Test rankings during a preceding series. Sri Lanka, who were the last side to ensure a direct qualification berth for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, will have to defeat Pakistan 5-0 to move ahead of them.

South Africa v Bangladesh series scenarios:

South Africa beats Bangladesh 3-0 – South Africa 121, Bangladesh 92
South Africa beats Bangladesh 2-1 – South Africa 119, Bangladesh 95
Bangladesh beats South Africa 2-1 – South Africa 117, Bangladesh 97
Bangladesh beats South Africa 3-0 – South Africa 115, Bangladesh 100

Pakistan v Sri Lanka series scenarios:

Pakistan beats Sri Lanka 5-0 – Pakistan 99 Sri Lanka 83
Pakistan beats Sri Lanka 4-1 – Pakistan 97, Sri Lanka 85
Pakistan beats Sri Lanka 3-2 – Pakistan 95, Sri Lanka 86
Sri Lanka beats Pakistan 3-2 – Pakistan 93, Sri Lanka 88
Sri Lanka beats Pakistan 4-1 – Pakistan 91, Sri Lanka 89
Sri Lanka beats Pakistan 5-0 – Sri Lanka 91, Pakistan 89

In the ICC ODI Player Rankings, South Africa boasts four batsmen in the top 20 – AB de Villiers (third), Quinton de Kock (eighth), Faf du Plessis (ninth) and Hashim Amla (11th), while leg-spinner Imran Tahir is the top-ranked bowler with pace bowler Kagiso Rabada in third position.

Bangladesh’s left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal is their leading batsman at 16th position while captain Mashrafe Mortaza (18th) and Shakib Al Hasan (20th) are the leading bowlers.

For Pakistan, batsman Babar Azam (sixth) and bowlers Hasan Ali (seventh) and Imad Wasim (34th) are the leading players according to the rankings, while for Sri Lanka, Kusal Mendis (32nd) and Suranga Lakmal (39th) are the leading players, but outside the top 20.

ALSO READ: Rabada continues to climb rankings

Series itinerary

Pakistan v Sri Lanka:

13 October: 1st ODI, Dubai

16 October: 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi

18 October – 3rd ODI, Abu Dhabi

20 October – 4th ODI, Sharjah

23 October – 5th ODI, Sharjah

South Africa v Bangladesh:

15 October:  1st ODI, Kimberley

18 October: 2nd ODI, Paarl

22 October – 3rd ODI, East London

ICC ODI Team Rankings (as on 12 October, before the Pakistan v Sri Lanka series and the South Africa v Bangladesh series):

Rank    Team                Points

India                   120
South Africa         119
Australia              114
England               114
New Zealand        111
Pakistan                95
Bangladesh           94
Sri Lanka              86
West Indies          77
Afghanistan          54
Zimbabwe            52
Ireland                 41

ICC ODI Player Rankings (as on 12 October, before the Pakistan v Sri Lanka series and the South Africa v Bangladesh series):

BATTING (top 20)

Rank      Player                    Team     Points    Avge     Highest Rating

1           Virat Kohli             Ind          877        55.13     887 v Aus at Kolkata 2017

2           David Warner       Aus         865        44.94     880 v Pak at Adelaide 2017

3           AB de Villiers        SA           847        53.55     902 v NZ at Auckland 2015

4           Joe Root                Eng         802        50.00     808 v Win at Bristol 2017

5           Rohit Sharma       Ind          790!       44.03     790 v Aus at Nagpur 2017

6           Babar Azam         Pak         786*!     53.88     786 v Ind at The Oval 2017

7           Kane Williamson NZ           779         46.98     798 v SA at Centurion 2015

8           Quinton de Kock  SA           769         43.44     803 v NZ at Wellington 2017

9           Faf du Plessis      SA           768        43.41     791 v SL at Cape Town 2017

10         Martin Guptill        NZ           749        43.30     789 v SA at Hamilton 2017

11         Hashim Amla       SA           741        50.25     901 v Eng at Trent Bridge 2012

12         MS Dhoni              Ind          738        51.90     836 v Aus at Delhi 2009

13         Steve Smith          Aus         728        43.23     752 v Pak at Sydney 2017

14         Shikhar Dhawan  Ind          715        44.45     794 v SA at Melbourne 2015

15         Ross Taylor           NZ           707        44.12     743 v Zim at Harare 2015

16         Tamim Iqbal         Ban         687        34.38     688 v Aus at The Oval 2017

17         Aaron Finch          Aus         674        36.56     743 v Eng at Melbourne 2015

18         Alex Hales            Eng         660        37.89     705 v NZ at Cardiff 2017

19         Eoin Morgan         Eng         650        38.16     690 v Aus at The Oval 2010

20         Jos Buttler             Eng         649        37.38     723 v Ban at Mirpur 2016

BOWLING (top 20)

Rank      Player                    Team     Points    Avge     Eco.       Highest Rating

1           Imran Tahir           SA           718        23.87     4.66       786 v SL at Johannesburg 2017

2           Josh Hazlewood  Aus         714        23.85     4.69       732 v Eng at Edgbaston 2017

3           Kagiso Rabada    SA           685        26.30     5.11       724 v Eng at Lord’s 2017

4           Mitchell Starc        Aus         684        20.13     4.81       783 v NZ at Melbourne 2015

5           Jasprit Bumrah    Ind          671*      22.10     4.75       687 v SL at Colombo (RPS) 2017

6           Trent Boult            NZ           665         25.48     5.00       766 v Ind at Delhi 2016

7=        Akshar Patel         Ind          663*!     29.88     4.36       663 v Aus at Nagpur 2017

Hasan Ali              Pak         663*!     22.66     5.47       663 v Ind at The Oval 2017

9           Rashid Khan         Afg          647*!     14.74     3.97       647 v Win at St Lucia 2017

10=       Sunil Narine         Win         646         26.46     4.12       791 v SL at Jamaica 2013

Liam Plunkett       Eng         646!       30.22     5.77       646 v Win at Southampton 2017

12         Adil Rashid           Eng         639         32.02     5.55       655 v Ban at Chittagong 2016

13         Chris Woakes       Eng         635         31.45     5.58       651 v SA at Headingley 2017

14         B. Kumar               Ind          626        36.71     4.86       657 v Win at Dharamsala 2014

15         Mohammad Nabi                Afg          618        32.74     4.29       653 v Zim at Harare 2017

16         Mitchell Santner   NZ           610*      33.77     4.99       617 v Ban at Dublin 2017

17         Matt Henry            NZ           606         25.26     5.62       675 v Aus at Hamilton 2016

18         M. Mortaza            Ban         601        30.54     4.74       653 v Zim at Mirpur 2009

19         Morne Morkel       SA           596        24.48     4.94       717 v SL at East London 2012

20         Shakib Al Hasan  Ban         592        29.49     4.41       717 v Zim at Chittagong 2009

ALL-ROUNDERS (top five)

Rank      Player                    Team     Points    Highest Rating

1           S. Al Hasan           Ban         353        453 v Zim at Chittagong 2009

2           M. Hafeez             Pak         339        438 v Ind at Kolkata 2013

3           M. Nabi                Afg            329        349 v Ire at Greater Noida 2017

4           A. Mathews           SL           304        427 v Eng at Colombo (RPS) 2014

5           Ben Stokes           Eng         293        299 v Win at Bristol 2017