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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.

Career Best ICC ODI Rankings for Pakistan Bowlers


From MisYou to AzAs

If Pakistan’s last Test in Roseau, Dominica marked the end of MisYou era, the Abu Dhabi Test is going to annotate the dawn of AzAs age. It will be the first time Azhar Ali will take the field not as the most experienced batsman in the side but also the most experienced player overall with 60 Test caps next to his name. Asad Shafiq will be the next most experienced player with 56 Tests to his name.

  • No player with 60+ Tests, for the first time since 2011 vs West Indies
  • Pakistan squad slips from 16th to 287th most experienced side ever
  • The most inexperienced eleven since 2011, vs Sri Lanka at Dubai
  • Pakistan’s batting lineup slips from most experienced ever to 255th
  • First-ever Test without Misbah and Younis in 7 years, after 58 Tests
  • Only Azhar, Amir, Sarfaraz played a Test without Misbah and Younis
  • Azhar to appear as Senior Most Player for the first time ever
  • The expected top-7 batting order to go in with 181 Tests in Total
  • 83% - 151 out of those 181 Tests played by Azhar, Asad and Sarfaraz
  • 3 others will go in with 30 Tests in between them
  • 1 guaranteed debutant in top 7

Fawad Alam - Pakistan Cricket's Enigma

The following piece was first posted on May 26, 2016 on Scoreline Portal. 16 months on,the situation is still the same.


Brief Mention in Indian Express

A brief mention in "The Indian Express" today. Glad they picked the pertinent part of the show on PTV Sports and referred to it in the right spirit.

Click here to read full article on The Indian Express website

Game On Hai - 30 August 2017

A discussion with former Pakistan Cricket Captain, Rashid Latif and Dr Nauman Niaz, the renowned Cricket historian and anchor in the flagship sports show "Game On Hai" of PTV Sports. "Game On Hai" is the most watched Sports show in Pakistan with highest TRP in Sports category. PTV Sports is the Sports channel of Pakistan's National Broadcaster, PTV.


Game On Hai - 29 August 2017

A discussion with former Pakistan Cricket Captain, Rashid Latif and Dr Nauman Niaz, the renowned Cricket historian and anchor in the flagship sports show "Game On Hai" of PTV Sports. "Game On Hai" is the most watched Sports show in Pakistan with highest TRP in Sports category. PTV Sports is the Sports channel of Pakistan's National Broadcaster, PTV. 

Pakistan Cricket, PSL and Najam Sethi

August 17, 2017 
While we remain aware of the empty half of the glass, the filled half of the glass can not be left unappreciated. At the same time, the efforts of those who had put all they had on stake to fill whatever there is in the glass, can not be ignored either.


Younis Khan - Sweeping Away The Norms

From the August Edition of SCORELINE Magazine


Zimbabwe Keeps West Indies Dream Alive

July 10, 2017: The shock defeat of Sri Lanka at the hands of Zimbabwe, their first away series win since 2009, keeps the final direct qualification slot for ICC World Cup 2019 open. Sri Lanka went into this five match home series ranked 8th with the rating of 93 in ICC ODI Rankings and ended up with the rating of 88 after the five matches against the team currently ranked 11th in the world..... continue reading


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