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Reshaping of ODI Rankings

At the last ICC ODI Rankings Annual update on May 1, 2017, ICC ODI World was dominated by the usual names. South Africa occupied the top spot with 123 points, followed by Australia with 118 points, then India at 117 and New Zealand at 115. England ranked 5th with 109 points, Sri Lanka 6th with 93, Bangladesh 7th with 91 and Pakistan at 8th with 88 points constituted the list of top 8 ODI sides in the world.

At exactly the halfway point in ICC ODI Rankings Season 2017-18, it is probably the right time to have a look at how different International Teams have performed since then. During exactly six months of this season, the ICC ODI Universe has received a vibrant shake up. To ascertain the impact of performances of last six months on overall ICC ODI Rankings, let’s have a supposed scenario.

Let’s assume that no more ODI Cricket will be played between now and till the next ICC Annual Update on May 1, 2018. What will be ICC ODI Rankings after that update? If this assumption is applied, England - leapfrogging from the 5th spot - would emerge as the new number 1 team in ICC ODI Rankings with 124 points while Pakistan, who were struggling, just a couple of months ago, even for the direct qualification for 2019 ICC World Cup, would jump to number 4 ranking in ICC ODI Ranking.

Australia would drop to number 5 and Sri Lanka, who were at number 6 with 93 points, would slip to number 8, only 0.6 points ahead of West Indies who will remain at number 9. This is how much the results of last six months have remained unconventional and against the trends.
This is how the ICC ODI Rankings would look under the assumption:

All this shift and reshaping in ICC ODI Rankings is based on unusually good by some teams and, equally, unusually bad performances by some teams. If the rating points earned by different teams only in this period are considered, here’s the summary of their performances:

England and Pakistan have been exceptional during this period. Pakistan have lost only 1 out of their 10 ODIs which was against India, their first game in Champions Trophy. England have played 14 ODIs in this period and lost only 2, 1 against Pakistan during Champions Trophy and 1 against South Africa just before the tournament. India has been a bit patchy. Out of 23 ODIs India played in this period (the most by any team), they lost 5, 1 each against Bangladesh and Pakistan in the Champions Trophy, and then 1 each in their ODI series with the West Indies (away), Australia (home) and New Zealand (home).

Zimbabwe also seems to be on the improvement path. Other than Pakistan, England, India and South Africa, Zimbabwe is the only team that has managed to win more matches than they have lost during this period. They played 7 and won 4. Out of 5 games against Sri Lanka, they won 3 times.
The biggest disappointment of the season has been Australia who have won only 1 out of their 8 matches during this season. In effect, they have earned only 84 rating points this season which is pretty unusual for an Australian side. West Indies has maintained itself, albeit on their disappointing standard.

But it has been Sri Lanka whose performance have gone from even worse to painful. During this season, Sri Lanka has played 18 ODIs and have lost 15 of them. Their only win against a team other than the lower ranked Zimbabwe was against India during the Champions Trophy. Other than that, they have mostly remained listless in ODI series against India and Pakistan.

Whatever the results be in the next six months and whatever the ICC ODI Rankings be after the next ICC Annual Update, one thing is pretty clear from the results of the first half of this season. That is, the trends are changing, the ICC ODI Universe is reshaping, and some old mates have returned to the party to challenge the boys at the top. It’s a refreshing shift in ODI Cricket that must go on, at least for a while, for its own benefit.

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