England end season as top-ranked ODI team

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During this period, England have won 43 of the 62 matches they have played, losing only 14. © Getty

With the 50-over World Cup closing in, England have finished the season as the top-ranked side in ODIs. However, to head to the mega tournament as the No 1 ranked side, they will have to win four of the six games that they are set to play against Ireland (one-off ODI) and Pakistan (five-match series).

In the annual update released by ICC on Thursday (May 2), England were on 123 points, two points ahead of second-placed India. South Africa (115), New Zealand (113) and Australia (109) follow them on the list. The latest ranking updates don’t take into account the results of the 2015-16 season, and the weightage of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 increases to 50 percent.

As a result of this, South Africa have leapfrogged New Zealand for the third position and Windies have overtaken Sri Lanka for the eighth position. However, with none of the top 10 teams dropping out of the list, the upcoming World Cup will witness the top 10 ranked ODI sides in the competition.

During this period, England have won 43 of the 62 matches they have played, losing only 14. India, who have won 49 and lost 18 of the 70 matches they have played, are the only team to have won more than England in this period.

Sri Lanka played most number of ODIs (71). However, having managed to win only 17 and losing 49 of those has resulted them in being placed ninth, with a win:loss ratio of 0.346, which is the worst among all the teams that have played ODIs during this period, except Oman and USA – both of whom lost the only ODI they played.

Namibia, Netherlands, Oman and USA have ODI status but have not played enough matches to figure on the rankings table. Three of the four teams who were awarded ODI status at the end of the World Cricket League Division 2 will join the rankings once they have played the requisite eight qualifying matches. However, PNG join the rankings immediately having played several ODIs prior to April 2018. The Netherlands, who already had ODI status, will need to play two more ODIs to achieve a ranking.

In Tests, India have retained their top position but New Zealand, at second place, have closed in on them by three points as their 2-0 loss to Australia in 2015-16 goes off the record. The only change in the Test rankings comes with England overtaking Australia for the fourth position.

During this three-year period, India has the best win percentage, having won 23 of the 38 matches they played. Even as England are the only side to have played more Tests than India during this period – 41 – India have the second least number of losses after New Zealand, losing only 8 games since the start of the 2016-17 season (Ireland and Afghanistan not considered).

Even as West Indies continue to languish at the eighth spot, they have closed down their gap with Pakistan from 11 points to 2. Zimbabwe, with 16 points, are a distant 10th while the new entrants – Ireland and Afghanistan – haven’t played enough Tests to find a place in the rankings.

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