Bangladesh needs to win one game against South Africa to retain pre-series points, Pakistan must win series against Sri Lanka to move ahead of eighth-ranked West Indies
The battle for the final two available places in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 will hot up when Bangladesh squares off against South Africa in the opening match of the three-match series in Mirpur on Friday and Sri Lanka hosts Pakistan in the first of the five matches in Dambulla on Saturday.
On 93 points, Bangladesh currently sits pretty in seventh position on the ICC ODI Team Rankings and needs one win to retain its pre-series points. A failure to win any matches will result in it dropping to 90 points.
On the other side of the coin, if it maintains the form it showed against Pakistan and India, and wins the series against South Africa, then it will cement its qualification for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. A 2-1 series win will put it on 96 points, while it will vault to 99 points if it wins all the three matches.
As far as South Africa is concerned, a 3-0 victory will be needed to move it up from fourth in the table.
Ninth-ranked Pakistan is on 87 points and will move ahead of the West Indies (88 points) by a fraction of a point if it wins the series by 3-2 or better. Pakistan can rise to as high as 94 points if it wins all the matches, but will drop to as low as 84 points if it fails to register a win.
For Sri Lanka, a 5-0 win will put it on 108 points while a 5-0 will defeat will see it slip to 100 points.
With only seven teams, plus host England, eligible to qualify for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 to be staged in the United Kingdom from 1-19 June, there is extra context to the matches between Bangladesh and South Africa and Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The cut-off date determining the participating teams is 30 September 2015.
Bangladesh, West Indies and Pakistan are separated by just six points and with the West Indies not immediately involved in any series, if Bangladesh and Pakistan perform strongly in the forthcoming series, they can strengthen their claims for a place in the elite tournament.
The West Indies won the tournament in 2004 and together with Pakistan has featured in every event since 1998 when it was launched as ICC Knock-Out. Bangladesh’s last appearance in the ICC Champions Trophy was in India in 2006.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe takes on a new-look India in a three-match series from Friday. Second-ranked India (115 points) leads 11th-ranked Zimbabwe (44 points) by 71 ratings and this gap means it is expected to win the series convincingly. As such, because the rankings are weighted to reflect this difference, failure to win the series convincingly will mean India will drop points.
If India wins the series 2-1, it will concede two points to drop to 113 while it will surrender four points and slip to 111 points if it loses the series 2-1. As South Africa will move up one point to 113 if it wins all the three matches against Bangladesh, it is important for India to achieve a clean sweep in the series so that it can continue to occupy second position, even if it is by a fraction of a point.
The following are the permutations of the forthcoming series:
Bangladesh (93 pts) v South Africa (112 pts)
· If BD wins 3-0, then BD 99 pts, SA 107 pts
· If BD wins 2-1, then BD 96 pts, SA 110 pts
· If SA wins 2-1, then BD 93 pts, SA 111 pts
· If SA wins 3-0, then BD 90 pts, SA 113 pts
Zimbabwe (44 pts) v India (115 pts)
· If Zim wins 3-0, then Zim 52 pts, Ind 109 pts
· If Zim wins 2-1, then Zim 49 pts, Ind 111 pts
· If Ind wins 2-1, then Zim 46 pts, Ind 113 pts
· If Ind wins 3-0, then Zim 43 pts, Ind 115 pts
Sri Lanka (106 pts) v Pakistan (87 pts)
· If SL wins 5-0, then SL 108 pts, Pak 84 pts
· If SL wins 4-1, then SL 107 pts, Pak 86 pts
· If SL wins 3-2, then SL 105 pts, Pak 88 pts
· If Pak wins 3-2, then SL 103 pts, Pak 90 pts
· If Pak wins 4-1, then SL 102 pts, Pak 92 pts
· If Pak wins 5-0, then SL 100 pts, Pak 94 pts
Meanwhile, in the ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen, South Africa captain AB de Villiers is the number-one ranked batsman, followed by Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka. However, in the absence of these two batsmen, South Africa’s third-ranked Hashim Amla will featured as the highest-ranked batsman in the forthcoming series. Fifth-ranked Tillakaratne Dilshan is the next highest-ranked batsman, trailing Amla by 35 points.
In the ICC Player Rankings for ODI Bowlers, South Africa’s second-ranked Imran Tahir will aim to narrow the gap with Mitchell Starc when he takes the field against Bangladesh. The wrist spinner is 49 points behind the left-arm fast bowler.
Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan is the next high-ranked bowler to feature in the forthcoming series. The number-one ranked all-rounder occupies eighth position on the bowling chart.