Opportunity for Sri Lanka to move ahead of England

Courtesy: International Cricket Council

Both Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be aiming for improvements in their rankings on the Reliance ICC ODI Championship table when they go head to head in a five-match series which starts in Pallekele on Thursday.

Fifth-ranked Sri Lanka leads sixth-ranked Pakistan by five ratings points. This reflects that there is very little separating the two Asian sides while the players’ comparison indicates that the series can potentially be a battle between Sri Lanka batsmen and Pakistan spinners.

In the Reliance ICC ODI Championship table, if Sri Lanka wins all five matches of the series then it will move ahead of England into fourth position on 114 ratings points, irrespective of the outcome of the three-match ODI series between England and the West Indies which starts at The Rose Bowl on 16 June.

If Sri Lanka wins 4-1 and England beats the West Indies 3-0, then both the sides will be on 113 ratings points but England will be ranked above Sri Lanka by a fraction of a point.

In sharp contrast, if Pakistan wins the series 4-1 or better, then it will move ahead of Sri Lanka into fifth position. In case of Pakistan’s 4-1 series win, both sides will be on 108 ratings points but Pakistan will be ranked above Sri Lanka when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.

Pakistan can even move to fourth if it wins all five matches of the series against Sri Lanka and the West Indies wins its series against England.

In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen, Sri Lanka has three batsmen inside the top 20 with Kumar Sangakkara (fifth), Tillekeratne Dilshan (12th) and Mahela Jayawardena (18th) while batsmen sitting outside the top 20 and aiming for upward movements include Dinesh Chandimal (26th), Upul Tharanga (38th) and Angelo Mathews (44th).

On the other side of the coin, Pakistan has only one batsman in Umar Akmal inside the top 20, in 10th position, while batsmen sitting outside the top 20 and inside the top 50 include Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq (30th), Mohammad Hafeez (40th), Shahid Afridi (41st) and Younus Khan (48th).

In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers, Pakistan boasts three bowlers inside the top 15 – Saeed Ajmal in second, Mohammad Hafeez in fourth and Shahid Afridi in 15th – while Lasith Malinga is the home side’s highest-ranked bowler in 22nd position.

Malinga is followed by Nuwan Kulasekara (30th), Angelo Mathews (48th), Rangana Herath (50th), Thisara Perera (57th) and Dilhara Fernando (85th).

The Championship table and player rankings will next be updated on 23 June, a day after the conclusion of the three-match ODI series between England and the West Indies.