Australia drop to fifth in ODI rankings
World champions Australia have dropped two places to fifth, while ICC Champions Trophy winners Pakistan have conceded three points in the ICC ODI Team Rankings following an action-packed month of white ball cricket, which saw 17 ODIs being played between seven sides in Australia, Bangladesh and New Zealand.
While the 50-over tournament champions have slipped in the team rankings table, England and New Zealand have been rewarded for their impressive performances against Australia and Pakistan, respectively. England have moved up to third after gaining two points (116) and New Zealand have risen to fourth after earning three points (115).
Following a 4-1 defeat, Australia are now fifth on 112 points, while Pakistan, after being swept aside 5-0 by New Zealand, are sixth on 96 points. The top five sides are still separated by just nine points.
In Bangladesh, the hosts went head to head with Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in a tri-series, which culminated on Saturday with Sri Lanka beating Bangladesh in the final by 79 runs. From this series, all the three sides retained their pre-series rankings, but Bangladesh conceded two points to slip to 90 and Zimbabwe earned a point to move to 53. Sri Lanka stayed on 84 points.
The excitement of ODI cricket will continue in February, when South Africa will put its number-one ranking on the line against second-ranked India in a six-match series, which starts in Durban on Thursday, 1 February.
To retain the top spot, South Africa will have to draw the series, while India can top the ODI table if they win the series by 4-2 or better. However, India will slip behind England by a fraction of a point if South Africa win the series by 5-1 or better.
Also in action will be 11th-ranked Afghanistan and 10th-ranked Zimbabwe in Sharjah when the two sides will feature in a five-ODI series from 9-19 February.
This series will be their final preparation before the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, which begins in Bulawayo and Harare on 4 March. The top two sides from this 10-team tournament will progress to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which will be staged in England and Wales from 30 May to 15 July.
The ODI Team Rankings, unlike the Test team rankings, are updated after each match.
SA v India series:
1 February – 1st ODI, Durban (d/n)
4 February – 2nd ODI, Centurion (d)
7 February – 3rd ODI, Cape Town (d/n)
10 February – 4th ODI, Johannesburg (d/n)
13 February – 5th ODI, Port Elizabeth (d/n)
16 February – 6th ODI, Centurion (d/n)
Afghanistan v Zimbabwe series:
9 February – 1st ODI, Sharjah (d/n)
11 February – 2nd ODI, Sharjah (d/n)
13 February – 3rd ODI, Sharjah (d/n)
16 February – 4th ODI, Sharjah (d/n)
19 February – 5th ODI, Sharjah (d/n)
ICC ODI Team Rankings (as on 29 January, after Aus v Eng, NZ v Pak and tri-series in Bangladesh):
Rank Team Points
1. South Africa 121
2. India 119
3. England 116 ( 2)
4. New Zealand 115 ( 3)
5. Australia 112 (-2)
6. Pakistan 96 (-3)
7. Bangladesh 90 (-2)
8. Sri Lanka 84 (-)
9. Windies 76
10. Zimbabwe 53 ( 1)
11. Afghanistan 51
12. Ireland 44