Pakistan’s No.2 ranking T20 at stake as series against England begins

Dubai: Pakistan will defend its number-two position on the ICC T20I Team Rankings when it goes head to head with England in a three-match series which begins here on Thursday, November 26.

In a battle between the 2009 and 2010 ICC World Twenty20 champions, Pakistan leads eighth-ranked England by 14 points. This means it must win the series to retain second position behind Sri Lanka, which will defend its ICC World Twenty20 title in India from March 11 to April 3 2016.

If Pakistan wins the series 2-1, then both the sides will maintain their pre-series rankings and points. However, if the series result is reversed, then Pakistan will join the West Indies and Australia in a three-way battle for second position on 118 points.

However, when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point, then Pakistan will be ranked fourth. In contrast, England will leapfrog India and New Zealand into sixth position on 112 points.

If England wins the series 3-0, then it will vault to fourth position on 117 points, while Pakistan will drop to sixth position on 114 points.

In the scenario of Pakistan winning all the three matches, Shahid Afridi’s side will join Sri Lanka on 125 points but will be ranked second by a fraction of a point. England, on the other side of the coin, will stay eighth but will slip to 102 points.

In the ICC Player Rankings for T20I Batsmen, England’s Alex Hales will start off as the highest-ranked batsman from either side in third position. The 26-year-old Nottinghamshire batsman trails India’s Virat Kohli in second place by four and number-one ranked Aaron Finch by 13 points and will be aiming for upward movement.

Captain Eoin Morgan (eighth) and Jos Buttler (47th) are the other England batsmen to feature inside the top 50.

Pakistan has no batsman inside the top 10 but in Ahmed Shehzad (14th), Umar Akmal (16th), Mohammad Hafeez (24th) and Shahid Afridi (35th), it boasts four batsmen inside the top 50.

In the ICC Player Rankings for T20I Bowlers, England has no bowler inside the top 75, while Pakistan has four bowlers inside the top 75. These include Shahid Afridi (ninth), Sohail Tanvir (16th), Shoaib Malik (68th) and Mohammad Irfan (75th).

Sunil Narine leads the bowlers’ table, which also includes his West Indies team-mate Samuel Badree in second spot and Sachithra Senanayake of Sri Lanka in third place.

Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh is on top of the all-rounders’ category, but Pakistan’s duo of Hafeez and Shahid are within striking distance. Second-ranked Hafeez trails Shakib by 47 points, while Shahid is another four points behind.

The T20I player rankings will next be released on December 1.