Pakistan take on England with an eye to World Cup

Dubai, Nov 9 (IANS) Pakistan will aim to carry the recent Test momentum into the four-match One-Day International (ODI) series against England as they bid to gain crucial points in the International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI team rankings.

Eighth-ranked Pakistan currently sit on 88 points as compared to sixth-ranked England’s 100 points. With England, plus seven other top-ranked sides as on September 30, 2017, set to qualify directly for the 2019 World Cup, the only way Pakistan can move up the order is by winning matches against the higher-ranked sides.

As such, a 4-0 series win against England will earn Pakistan five points while a 3-1 victory will mean a gain of three points. It will earn only one point if the series ends in a 2-all draw.

An England series win will mean Pakistan will lose points. If England sweep the series, like they did in 2012, then Pakistan will drop to 86 points while they will concede one point if England win 3-1.

As far as England is concerned, they can rise to as high as 102 points, but will slip behind Bangladesh in seventh place by a fraction of a point if they lose 0-4 and Bangladesh win the third ODI against Zimbabwe on Monday.

Pakistan’s last series win against England was on home turf in December 2005 when they won 3-2.

In the ODI player rankings, no batsman from either side features in the top-10. Joe Root is the highest-ranked batsman in 11th position, followed by captain Eoin Morgan (21st) and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler (23rd). Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez is 30th while Ahmed Shehzad is 32nd.

AB de Villiers of South Africa is the No.1 ranked batsman while Virat Kohli of India is second.

In the bowling chart, Pakistan’s Mohammad Irfan, in 14th place, is the highest-ranked bowler from either side, followed by Moeen Ali of England (31st) and Wahab Riaz (49th). Sunil Narine of the West Indies is the top-ranked bowler and is followed by Mitchell Starc of Australia.

Meanwhile, the recently-concluded series between Sri Lanka and West Indies has resulted in gains for a number of players.

In the batting table, Marlon Samuels has moved up three places to 34th and Kusal Perera has climbed seven places to 43rd. In bowling, Suranga Lakmal has achieved a career-best ranking of 23rd after rising six places and Lasith Malinga has vaulted four places to 24th.

The 3-0 series win has earned Sri Lanka five points and they are now on 105 points while the West Indies have slipped to 86 after dropping two points.

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