Pakistan takes on England with one eye on ICC Cricket World Cup 2019


Dubai: Pakistan will be aiming to carry the recent Test momentum into the four-match One-Day International (ODI) series, which begins November 11 in Abu Dhabi, against England as it bids to gain crucial points on the ICC ODI Team Rankings.

Eighth-ranked Pakistan is currently sitting on 88 points as compared to sixth-ranked England’s 100 points. With England, plus seven other top-ranked sides as on September 30 2017, set to qualify directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, the only way Pakistan can move up the order is by winning matches against the higher-ranked sides.

As such, a 4-0 series win against England will earn Pakistan five points, while a 3-1 victory will mean a gain of three rankings points. It will earn only one point if the series ends in a two-all draw.

An England series win will mean Pakistan will lose points. If England sweeps the series, like it did in 2012, then Pakistan will drop to 86 points, while it will concede one point if England wins 3-1.

As far as England is concerned, it can rise to as high as102 points, but will slip behind Bangladesh in seventh place by a fraction of a point, if it loses 4-0 and Bangladesh wins the third ODI against Zimbabwe on Monday.

Pakistan’s last series win against England was on home turf in December 2005 when it won 3-2.

In the ICC ODI Player Rankings, no batsman from either side features in the top 10. Joe Root is the highest-ranked batsman in 11th position, followed by captain Eoin Morgan (21st) and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler (23rd).

Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez is 30th, while Ahmed Shehzad is 32nd.

AB de Villiers of South Africa is the number-one ranked batsman, while Virat Kohli of India is second and Kane Williamson of New Zealand third.

In the bowling chart, Pakistan’s Mohammad Irfan, in 14th place, is the highest-ranked bowler from either side, followed by Moeen Ali of England (31st) and Wahab Riaz (49th).

Sunil Narine of the West Indies is the top-ranked bowler and he is followed by Mitchell Starc of Australia and Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan.

Meanwhile, the recently-concluded series between Sri Lanka and West Indies has resulted in gains for a number of players.

In the batting table, Marlon Samuels has moved up three places to 34th and Kusal Perera has climbed seven places to 43rd, while in the bowling, Suranga Lakmal has achieved a career-best ranking of 23rd after rising six places and Lasith Malinga has vaulted four places to 24th.

The 3-0 series win as earned Sri Lanka five points and it is now on 105 points, while the West Indies has slipped to 86 after dropping two points.