Third place on the line


The West Indies and Pakistan square up for a four-match series starting in Bridgetown on Sunday with a chance to move up to third position in the ICC T20I Team Rankings.

But for that to happen, either of the two teams, who will also be playing a three ODI series next month in a bid to boost their direct qualification chances for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, will need to dominate in the T20I series.

ICC World Twenty20 champion West Indies will move up from 116 points to 123 points if they win all the matches while a 3-1 win will see them leapfrog third-placed South Africa, who are on 117 points.

On the other hand, former ICC World Twenty20 champions Pakistan could go up to 118 points and third position from its current sixth position with a 4-0 win while a 3-1 result will lift it to fourth position and 116 points.

New Zealand leads the points table with 127 points while India is in second position with 124 points.

Possible scenarios:
West Indies wins 4-0: West Indies 123, Pakistan 109
West Indies wins 3-1: West Indies 119, Pakistan 111
Series drawn at 2-2: West Indies 115, Pakistan 114
Pakistan wins 4-0: Pakistan 118, West Indies 108
Pakistan wins 3-1: Pakistan 116, West Indies 112

In the ICC Rankings for T20I Batsmen, Marlon Samuels is the top-ranked batsman from either side in 19th position while Ahmed Shehzad (34th) and Shoaib Malik (37th) are the two leading Pakistan batsmen who will be looking to improve their rankings.

Both sides boast some leading names in the ICC Rankings for T20I Bowlers as West Indies leg-spinner Samuel Badree is ranked third with 723 points but has to contend with Pakistan’s left-arm spinner Imad Wasim, who is just five points behind in fourth position.

Other leading bowlers in the series will include West Indies’ Sunil Narine (seventh) and Pakistan pace bowlers Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz, who are ranked 36th and 45th respectively.