Cricket

Big opportunities for Warner and Shakib

Important points in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings will be up for grabs this month, with seven sides chasing No. 1-ranked South Africa and second-ranked India in 17 ODIs.

A packed month of 50-over cricket will commence in Wellington on January 6, when fifth-ranked New Zealand and sixth-ranked ICC Champions Trophy winner Pakistan will square-off in the first of five ODIs. The series will culminate in Wellington on January 19 and both sides will aim to rise up the order.

New Zealand (112 points) lead Pakistan (99 points) by 13 points and can open the gap to as wide as 19 points if they win all five matches. However, if the series result is reversed, Pakistan will narrow the gap with New Zealand to just two points.

World champions and third-ranked Australia will host fourth-ranked England, also in a five-match series, which will start in Melbourne on January 14 and conclude in Perth on January 28. Both sides are on equal points at 114, but Australia are ranked above England when the points are calculated beyond the decimal point.

This means the side that wins the series will break clear of their opponents. If Australia win all five matches, they will rise to 119 points and England will drop to 110 points. If England sweep the series, they will move to 118 points and Australia will slip to 110 points.

Mirpur will be the stage of the tri-series involving hosts Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, with the series starting on January 15 at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium.

Seventh-ranked Bangladesh (92 points) will enter the series ahead of eighth-ranked Sri Lanka (84 points) and 10th-ranked Zimbabwe (52 points).

In this series, Bangladesh will have a chance to finish as high as 95 points, Sri Lanka 87 points and Zimbabwe 61 points, while Bangladesh can finish as low as 84 points, Sri Lanka 81 points and Zimbabwe 51 points (which would leave them behind Afghanistan by a fraction of a point).

The series will be incredibly important to Zimbabwe, whio will be bidding to qualify for World Cup 2019 on home turf in the World Cup Qualifier in March. The finalists from the Zimbabwe event will join the eight top-ranked sides in the ICC’s pinnacle 50-over tournament and, in addition to the hosts, some of the strong contenders to assemble in Bulawayo and Harare include ICC Intercontinental Cup champions Afghanistan, Ireland, ICC World Cricket League Championship holders Netherlands, Scotland and Windies.

In the Dhaka series, Zimbabwe will not only try to provide maximum exposure to their players but will also pit themselves against more experienced and skilled opponents, which, in turn, will help them prepare for the challenging ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

 

In the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen, Australia’s third-ranked David Warner will have an opportunity to move to the top of the table as No. 1-ranked Virat Kohli and second-ranked AB de Villiers do not wear coloured clothing until February 1.

Warner is 11 points behind Kohli, and trails de Villiers by seven points. A few very strong performances against England will potentially help him reclaim the coveted position, which he first achieved 12 months ago before de Villiers replaced him in March. Kohli went top of the table following the group stage matches in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.

Babar Azam (fourth), Kane Williamson (10th), Ross Taylor (11th) and Martin Guptill (15th) are the high-ranking batsmen from Pakistan and New Zealand to feature inside the top-20 and looking to climb.

In the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for ODI Bowlers, Pakistan’s Hasan Ali will begin as the No. 1-ranked bowler and will aim to widen the gap with second-ranked Imran Tahir of South Africa, who is likely to feature in the series against India in February. The two bowlers are separated by 16 points.

Hasan Ali, the Player of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, had started 2017 in 75th position and climbed to No. 1 following a successful series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates. He is the only Pakistan bowler to feature inside the top-20, with the next highest-ranked bowler being Mohammad Amir in 26th position.

Trent Boult is New Zealand’s highest-ranked bowler in fourth position and has India’s Jasprit Bumrah firmly within his sights. The Black Caps fast bowler trails the Indian by six points and a few strong performances will potentially help him break into the top-three.

New Zealand’s left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner and fast bowler Matt Henry are the other two bowlers to feature inside the top-20, in 10th and 17th positions respectively. Only 37 points separate the two teammates.

In the all-rounders’ category, Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez is ranked No. 1 and leads Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan by six points. The Bangladesh left-arm spinner has a chance to move to the top as his Asian rival will be featuring in the series against New Zealand only as a batsman. New Zealand’s highest-ranked all-rounder is Santner in ninth spot.

 New Zealand v Pakistan

6 Jan – 1st ODI, Wellington

9 Jan – 2nd ODI, Nelson

13 Jan – 3rd ODI, Dunedin

16 Jan – 4th ODI, Hamilton

19 Jan – 5th ODI, Wellington

Australia v England

14 Jan – 1st ODI, Melbourne

19 Jan – 2nd ODI, Brisbane

21 Jan – 3rd ODI, Sydney

26 Jan – 4th ODI, Adelaide

28 Jan – 5th ODI, Perth

Tri-series in Bangladesh

15 Jan – Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, Mirpur (d/n)

17 Jan – Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, Mirpur (d/n)

19 Jan – Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Mirpur (d/n)

21 Jan – Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, Mirpur (d/n)

23 Jan – Bangladesh c Zimbabwe, Mirpur (d/n)

25 Jan – Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Mirpur (d/n)

27 Jan – Final, Mirpur (d/n)

MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings (as on 4 January 2018):

Rank    Team               Points

1.      South Africa      121

2.      India                 119

3.      Australia           114

4.      England            114

5.      New Zealand     112

6.      Pakistan           99

7.      Bangladesh      92

8.      Sri Lanka          84

9.      Windies            76

10.   Zimbabwe         52

11.   Afghanistan      51

12.   Ireland              44

MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings (as on 4 January 2018):

BATSMEN (top 20)

Rank      Player                   Team     Points    Avge      Highest Rating

   1          Virat Kohli             Ind          876         55.74     889 v NZ at Kanpur 2017

   2          AB de Villiers        SA          872         54.06     902 v NZ at Auckland 2015

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

   4          Babar Azam          Pak         846*!      58.60     846 v SL at Sharjah 2017

   5          Rohit Sharma       Ind          816         45.23     825 v SL at Mohali 2017

   6          Quinton de Kock  SA          808!       45.85     808 v Ban at East London 2017

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

   8          Faf du Plessis       SA          773         43.90     791 v SL at Cape Town 2017

   9          Hashim Amla        SA          766         51.25     901 v Eng at Trent Bridge 2012

  10         Kane Williamson   NZ          750         46.23     798 v SA at Centurion 2015

  11         Ross Taylor          NZ          735         44.99     743 v Zim at Harare 2015

  12         MS Dhoni              Ind          729         51.55     836 v Aus at Delhi 2009

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

  14         Shikhar Dhawan   Ind          726         44.86     794 v SA at Melbourne 2015

  15         Martin Guptill        NZ          717         42.71     789 v SA at Hamilton 2017

  16         Tamim Iqbal          Ban         677         34.32     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         Mushfiqur Rahim  Ban         658         32.92     671 v Zim at Mirpur 2015

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

BOWLERS (top 20)

Rank      Player                   Team     Points    Avge      Eco.       Highest Rating

   1          Hasan Ali              Pak         759*!      19.82     5.11       759 v SL at Sharjah 2017

   2          Imran Tahir           SA          743         23.72     4.64       786 v SL at Johannesburg 2017

   3          Jasprit Bumrah     Ind          729*       22.71     4.74       731 v SL at Mohali 2017

   4          Trent Boult            NZ          723         24.65     4.99       766 v Ind at Delhi 2016

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

   6          Kagiso Rabada     SA          708         26.08     5.05       724 v Eng at Lord’s 2017

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

   8          Rashid Khan         Afg         649*!      14.48     3.91       649 v Ire at Sharjah 2017

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

  10         Mitchell Santner    NZ          644!       32.11     4.92       644 v Win at Christchurch 2017

  11         Akshar Patel         Ind          643*       31.31     4.43       663 v Aus at Nagpur 2017

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

  13         Sunil Narine          Win         636         26.46     4.12       791 v SL at Jamaica 2013

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

  15         B. Kumar               Ind          621         36.89     4.93       657 v Win at Dharamsala 2014

  16         M. Nabi                 Afg         612         32.06     4.29       653 v Zim at Harare 2017

  17         Matt Henry            NZ          607         25.31     5.58       675 v Aus at Hamilton 2016

  18         Morne Morkel       SA          587         24.48     4.94       717 v SL at East London 2012

  19         Pat Cummins        Aus         580         29.24     5.41       588 v Ind at Indore 2017

  20         Shakib Al Hasan   Ban         578         29.95     4.44       717 v Zim at Chittagong 2009

ALL-ROUNDERS (top five)

Rank      Player                   Team     Points    Highest Rating

   1          M. Hafeez             Pak         352        438 v Ind at Kolkata 2013

   2          Shakib Al Hasan   Ban         346        453 v Zim at Chittagong 2009

   3          Angelo Mathews   SL           321        427 v Eng at Colombo (RPS) 2014

   4          Mohammad Nabi  Afg         316        349 v Ire at Greater Noida 2017

   5          Ben Stokes           Eng         293        299 v Win at Bristol 2017

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