Australia extend lead atop ODI rankings
World Champions Australia have doubled their lead over second-ranked India in One-Day International (ODI) rankings, released by the International Cricket Council on Thursday, from six to 12 points.
Meanwhile, the West Indies, Bangladesh and Pakistan are now locked in a tight struggle for the remaining two slots for the 2017 Champions Trophy whose cut-off date is September 30.
The showpiece tournament will be played from in England and Wales from June 1 to 19 where the host country (England) and the next seven highest-ranked ODI sides will participate.
The updated rankings now see a battle between the West Indies (seventh, 88 points), Bangladesh (eighth, 88) and Pakistan (ninth, 87). The three sides are separated by one point and will be vying for the last two places available for the Champions Trophy.
The latest Future Tours Programme lists the following series’ for these teams -- the West Indies have no ODIs scheduled, Bangladesh play India and South Africa in two three-match series’ in June and July, while Pakistan take on Zimbabwe in a three-match series in May and Sri Lanka in a five-match series in July.
The annual rankings has also seen New Zealand and England head in opposite directions. World Cup runners-up New Zealand has made the biggest move, jumping eight points to be ranked third ahead of South Africa.
In contrast, England has had the biggest fall as it has surrendered seven points, dropping to sixth, 12 points behind fifth-ranked Sri Lanka.
In Twenty20s, World T20 champions Sri Lanka have extended their lead over second-ranked India to 11 points. The top-three positions are unchanged as the West Indies gained two places to rise to fourth, pushing Pakistan down to fifth.
South Africa have also slipped two places to seventh, allowing New Zealand to move up one place to sixth. Australia and West Indies have gained five points each while Netherlands have conceded eight, Scotland seven and South Africa six points.