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New Zealand and Sri Lanka in a battle to move up the ICC ODI Championship

New Zealand, the finalist of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, has not played ODI cricket since August and will need to revive its shorter game skills

New Zealand and Sri Lanka in a battle to move up the ICC ODI Championship  - Cricket News
New Zealand will take on Sri Lanka in a five-match ODI series starting in Christchurch on Saturday, 26 December, with both the sides knowing that they have an opportunity to move up the ICC ODI Championship, provided they win the series by 4-1 or better.

If fourth-ranked New Zealand wins the series by 4-1 or better, then it will move ahead of South Africa into third place. If fifth-ranked Sri Lanka wins the series by the same margin, then it will swap places with New Zealand.
 
New Zealand, the finalist of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, has not played ODI cricket since August and will need to revive its shorter game skills. With 22 wins and 11 defeats in 35 home ODIs against Sri Lanka, New Zealand clearly has the edge.
 
In contrast, Sri Lanka has been in top ODI form with a 3-0 home victory over the West Indies last month.
 
The ICC ODI Championship table is updated after each match. To find out how the series will affect the table, please use the predictor function, which is available here.
 
Meanwhile, in the ICC ODI Player Rankings, Kane Williamson has been in tremendous form, which is reflected in the ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen. The Black Caps’ batsman is in third place, behind number-one ranked AB de Villiers and second-ranked Virat Kohli.
 
Williamson, the top ODI run-scorer this calendar year, is just 16 points behind India’s Test captain and has an opportunity to achieve second position for the first time in his career, provided he performs strongly in the series.
 
Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan is just eight points behind Williamson, and is also presented with a similar chance of moving to as high as second.
 
Ross Taylor could potentially catch up with India’s limited-overs captain MS Dhoni, and jump from eighth to sixth, as only 13 points separate the two.
 
And a quick scan of the batsmen’s rankings shows Martin Guptill (15th) is not too far off the mark in attempting to break into the top 10. Brendon McCullum would be keen to make an upward movement from his current 29th position, while Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Thirimanne is on a career-high 31st spot.
 
Amongst the bowlers, New Zealand will be resting its premier fast bowler Trent Boult for the first three ODIs. But on his return, Boult will be in hot pursuit of the number-two spot, currently held by the Player of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Mitchell Starc. Boult is the third most successful bowler in ODIs this year, with 36 wickets to date.
 
Other bowlers featuring in the series and looking to improve their positions include Sachithra Senanayake, who is a good eight spots below his personal career-best ranking of seventh. Seventh is also the top ranking achieved by Lasith Malinga, who currently occupies the 23rd position.
 
Amongst the all-rounders, Dilshan is in second position, but his team-mate Angelo Mathews has the chance to go ahead of Mohammad Hafeez, and take sole ownership of the number-three spot.
 
Series schedule
 
26 Dec – 1st ODI, Christchurch
28 Dec – 2nd ODI, Christchurch
31 Dec – 3rd ODI, Nelson
2 Jan – 4th ODI, Nelson
5 Jan – 5th ODI, Maunganui
 
ICC ODI Team Championship (as on 24 December, before the start of New Zealand-Sri Lanka series)
 
Rank   Team              Points
1          Australia          127
2          India                114
3          South Africa   112
4          New Zealand  109
5          Sri Lanka         105
6          England           101
7          Bangladesh     97
8          Pakistan           87
9          West Indies     86
10        Zimbabwe       46
11        Ireland             46
12        Afghanistan    45
 
(Developed by David Kendix)
 
ICC ODI Player Rankings (as on 24 December, before the start of New Zealand-Sri Lanka series)
 
Batsmen (top 10)
 
Rank      Player                   Team     Points    Avge      HS Ranking
   1           AB de Villiers        SA           900         54.21     902 v NZ at Auckland 2015
   2           Virat Kohli            Ind          804         50.60     886 v Ban at Fatullah 2014
   3           K. Williamson       NZ          788         48.02     798 v SA at Centurion 2015
   4           T. Dilshan              SL           780         39.62     802 v Sco at Hobart 2015
   5           Hashim Amla       SA           776         52.70     901 v Eng at Trent Bridge 2012
   6           MS Dhoni              Ind          741         52.26     836 v Aus at Delhi 2009
   7           S. Dhawan            Ind          730         42.93     794 v SA at Melbourne 2015
   8           Ross Taylor          NZ          728         43.91     743 v Zim at Harare 2015
   9           Glenn Maxwell     Aus         717         34.88     724 v Pak at Adelaide 2015
  10=       Faf du Plessis        SA           715!       39.65     715 v Ind at Mumbai 2015
                Q. de Kock            SA           715         39.86     749 v Aus at Sydney 2014
 
Selected rankings (top 50)
 
Rank      Player                  Team     Points    Avge     HS Ranking
  15         M Guptill               NZ          678        41.16     688 v SA at Potchefstroom 2015
  21         A Mathews            SL           643        39.94      707 v Eng at Colombo (RPS) 2014
  29         B McCullum          NZ          606        30.30      685 v Eng at Auckland 2013
  31         L Thirimanne         SL           595        34.65     599 v WI at Colombo (RPS) 2015
  40         C Anderson          NZ          553        35.30      604 v Ind at Hamilton 2014
  46         K Perera               SL           547        27.36      547 v WI at Pallekele 2015
 
Bowlers (top 10)
 
Rank       Player                  Team     Points      Avge    Eco.        Highest Ranking
   1            Sunil Narine         WI          734          26.05    4.07        791 v SL at Jamaica 2013
   2            Mitchell Starc      Aus         713          19.65    4.85        783 v NZ at Melbourne 2015
   3            Trent Boult          NZ          705          24.08    4.64        738 v Eng at The Oval 2015
   4            S Al Hasan         Ban        699          27.89    4.30        717 v Zim at Chittagong 2009
   5            Imran Tahir          SA           688          22.94    4.49        735 v SL at Sydney 2015
   6            Dale Steyn          SA           682          25.93    4.86        746 v Ind at Durban 2013
   7            M Johnson           Aus         672          25.26    4.83        724 v Ban at Darwin 2008
   8            Morne Morkel       SA           666          23.98    4.90        717 v SL at East London 2012
   9            Saeed Ajmal        Pak         642          22.73    4.18        810 v SA at Centurion 2013
  10          R Ashwin              Ind          640          31.27    4.81        691 v SL at Hambantota 2012
 
Selected rankings (top 50)
 
Rank       Player                  Team     Points     Avge    Eco.        Highest Ranking
  15          S Senanayake     SL           596          34.94    4.74        656 v NZ at Christchurch 2015
  22          S Lakmal             SL           560          29.71    5.56        563 v WI at Colombo (RPS) 2015
  23          L Malinga            SL           557          27.77    5.26        675 v Ban at Colombo (RPS) 2007
  24         T Southee             NZ          556          31.65    5.33        638 v Eng at Wellington 2015
  29          A Mathews          SL           554          34.77    4.61        649 v Ind at Trinidad 2013
  44          M McClenaghan                NZ          500          28.97    6.07        603 v SL at Christchurch 2015        
  49          Adam Milne        NZ          495        38.75     5.00        495 v SA at Durban 2015
 
All- Rounder (Top 5)
 
Rank      Player                   Team     Points    Highest Ranking
   1            S Al Hasan           Ban        416          453 v Zim at Chittagong 2009
   2           T Dilshan               SL           366          415 v Sco at Hobart 2015
   3=        M Hafeez             Pak         356          438 v Ind at Kolkata 2013
                A Mathews           SL           356          427 v Eng at Colombo (RPS) 2014
   5           G Maxwell            Aus         348          351 v Eng at Headingley 2015

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