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Pakistan’s bid to gain automatic qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 hinges on its performance against Ireland and England

Fifth-ranked Sri Lanka and world champion Australia go head-to-head in five-ODI series on 21 August, ICC ODI team rankings available here; click here to use the ODI predictor function

Pakistan’s bid to gain automatic qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 hinges on its performance against Ireland and England - Cricket News
Pakistan will bid to gain automatic qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 with good performances against Ireland and England.

After featuring in one of the most thrilling and competitive Test series in recent times, Pakistan shifts its focus to white ball cricket when it plays Ireland in Dublin on 18 and 20 August, and then England in a five-ODI series from 24 August to 4 September.

Up for grabs for ninth-ranked Pakistan are invaluable rankings points, which can potentially go a long way in helping it qualify automatically for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, while Ireland can improve its ranking of 12th and England can consolidate its fifth position.

The 1992 world champions are presently languishing on 87 points – seven points behind eighth-ranked West Indies.

Host England and the seven highest-ranked sides on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings as on 30 September 2017 will qualify directly for the ICC’s pinnacle 50-over tournament. This means Pakistan finds itself in a situation where it cannot afford any further slip-ups if it is keen to avoid having to play in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018.

The four bottom-ranked sides on the ODI table will be joined by six teams from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and ICC World Cricket League in the 10-team qualifying competition. The top two side will complete the 10-team line-up for the event proper to be staged from 30 May to 15 July 2019.

In the forthcoming matches, Pakistan not only has a chance to close the gap with the West Indies but it can move ahead of the two-time former world champion by a fraction of a point. However, to make this happen, it will have to win every match against Ireland and England.

The incentive for 12th-ranked Ireland in the upcoming series is massive as well.

If it wins both the matches against Pakistan, it will leapfrog Zimbabwe and Afghanistan into 10th position on 53 points, while Pakistan will plummet to 83 points. A 1-all draw will mean Ireland will move ahead of Zimbabwe in 11th position on 48 points, while Pakistan will drop to 85 points.

The only way Pakistan can stay on 87 points is by winning both the matches and this is because it enters the series leading Ireland by 44 points, and because the rankings are weighted to reflect this difference, it is expected to win the series convincingly.

If England beats Pakistan and Sri Lanka defeats Australia by  identical 5-0 margins, then England will finish on 109 points, Sri Lanka on 108 points while Australia will retain its number-one position though its 10-point advantage over second-ranked New Zealand will be reduced to just two points.

On the other side of the coin, if Australia wins all the five matches of the series, then it will rise to 126 points (up by three points), while Sri Lanka will slip to 99 points (down by three points).

The ODI team rankings, unlike the Test rankings, are updated after each match. The ODI team rankings are available here, while the ICC ODI predictor function is available here.

Meanwhile, England’s Joe Root and Australia’s Mitchell Starc will start as the highest-ranked batsman and bowler, respectively, in the upcoming matches.

Root is in seventh position at 741 points in a list which is headed by AB de Villiers of South Africa with 887 points. Tillakaratne Dilshan of Sri Lanka (10th), Australia’s David Warner (12th), Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez (23rd) and Ireland’s Ed Joyce (24th) are expected to start as their countries’ highest-ranked batsmen.

Apart from Starc, Australia also boasts Josh Hazlewood inside the top 20 while 15th-ranked Moeen Ali is England’s highest-ranked bowler to challenge Pakistan, which boasts Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah just outside the top 50 in 53rd and 57th positions respectively.

The bowlers’ list is headed by the West Indies’ Sunil Narine, with Trent Boult of New Zealand second and Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh third.

The MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings will now be updated on 5 September, following the conclusion of Sri Lanka-Australia and England-Pakistan series.

Upcoming fixtures:
 

Ireland v Pakistan

18 Aug – 1st ODI, Dublin

20 Aug – 2nd ODI, Dublin

 

Sri Lanka v Australia

21 Aug – 1st ODI, Colombo

24 Aug – 2nd ODI, Colombo

28 Aug – 3rd ODI, Dambulla

31 Aug – 4th ODI, Dambulla

4 Sep – 5th ODI, Pallekele

 

England v Pakistan

24 Aug – 1st ODI, The Rose Bowl

27 Aug – 2nd ODI, Lord’s

30 Aus – 3rd ODI, Trent Bridge

1 Sep – 4th ODI, Headingley

4 Sep – 5th ODI, Cardiff

 

MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings (as on 16 August, before Ireland v Pakistan, Sri Lanka v Australia and England v Pakistan series)

 

Rank   Team              Points

1          Australia         123

2          New Zealand   113

3          India                110

4          South Africa   110

5          England           106

6          Sri Lanka        102

7          Bangladesh     98

8          West Indies     94

9          Pakistan          87

10        Afghanistan    49

11        Zimbabwe       46

12        Ireland             43

 

(Developed by David Kendix)

 

MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings (as on 17 August, before Ireland-Pakistan, Sri Lanka-Australia and England-Pakistan series)

 

Batsmen (top 20)

 

Rank     Player                  Team     Pts         Ave        Highest Rating

   1         AB de Villiers     SA         887        53.63    902 v NZ at Auckland 2015

   2         Virat Kohli          Ind         813        51.51    886 v Ban at Fatullah 2014

   3         Hashim Amla      SA         778        51.97    901 v Eng at Trent Bridge 2012

   4         Kane Williamson NZ         752        47.00    798 v SA at Centurion 2015

   5         Martin Guptill     NZ         751!      43.25    751 v Aus at Hamilton 2016

   6         Rohit Sharma      Ind         750        42.08    761 v Aus at Sydney 2016

   7         Joe Root               Eng        741        44.96    743 v SA at Johannesburg 2016

   8         Shikhar Dhawan  Ind         737        43.97    794 v SA at Melbourne 2015

   9         Quinton de Kock SA         735        41.83    789 v Eng at Centurion 2016

  10        T. Dilshan            SL          734        39.44    802 v Sco at Hobart 2015

  11        Faf du Plessis      SA         716        40.56    730 v Aus at Barbados 2016

  12        David Warner      Aus        712        39.15    726 v SA at St Kitts 2016

  13        MS Dhoni            Ind         706        51.25    836 v Aus at Delhi 2009

  14        Ross Taylor         NZ         702        43.90    743 v Zim at Harare 2015

  15        Jos Buttler           Eng        695        37.32    706 v SA at Port Elizabeth 2016

  16        Steve Smith         Aus        694        41.15    709 v Ind at Canberra 2016

  17        Aaron Finch         Aus        679        37.41    743 v Eng at Melbourne 2015

  18=      Mushfiqur Rahim              Ban        661        31.61    671 v Zim at Mirpur 2015

              Angelo Mathews SL          661        40.67    707 v Eng at Colombo (RPS) 2014

 

Bowlers (top 20)

 

Rank     Player                  Team     Pts         Avge      Highest Rating

   1         Sunil Narine        WI         759        25.74    4.07      791 v SL at Jamaica 2013

   2         Trent Boult          NZ         731*     22.96    4.81      745 v Aus at Auckland 2016

   3         Shakib Al Hasan  Ban        699        27.89    4.30      717 v Zim at Chittagong 2009

   4         Imran Tahir         SA         693        23.13    4.64      735 v SL at Sydney 2015

   5         Mitchell Starc     Aus        681        19.79    4.82      783 v NZ at Melbourne 2015

   6         Matt Henry          NZ         675*!    22.17    5.42      675 v Aus at Hamilton 2016

   7=       Dale Steyn           SA         645        25.93    4.86      746 v Ind at Durban 2013

              Kagiso Rabada    SA         645*!    21.45    4.78      645 v WI at Barbados 2016

   9         Morne Morkel     SA         628        24.60    4.95      717 v SL at East London 2012

  10        Mohammad Irfan Pak        616        31.14    4.91      641 v UAE at Napier 2015

  11        R. Ashwin            Ind         606        31.73    4.85      691 v SL at Hambantota 2012

  12        Akshar Patel        Ind         603*!    28.09    4.40      603 v Zim at Harare 2016

  13        Josh Hazlewood  Aus        593*!    23.18    4.57      593 v WI at Barbados 2016

  14        Moeen Ali           Eng        588        41.15    5.02      610 v SA at Cape Town 2016

  15        M. Mortaza          Ban        579        30.76    4.73      653 v Zim at Mirpur 2009

  16        Adil Rashid         Eng        577*!    43.24    5.66      577 v SL at Cardiff 2016

  17        M. Hafeez            Pak        568        34.86    4.10      769 v Ind at Kolkata 2013

  18        Jason Holder        WI         565        32.70    5.58      577 v Aus at St Kitts 2016

  19        Steven Finn         Eng        561        28.96    5.09      755 v NZ at Auckland 2013

  20        B. Kumar             Ind         560        38.30    4.89      657 v WI at Dharamsala 2014

 

All-rounders (top five)

 

Rank     Player                  Team     Pts         Highest Rating

   1         Shakib Al Hasan  Ban        416       453 v Zim at Chittagong 2009

   2         M. Hafeez            Pak        363       438 v Ind at Kolkata 2013

   3         Angelo Mathews SL          344       427 v Eng at Colombo (RPS) 2014

   4         T. Dilshan            SL          325       415 v Sco at Hobart 2015

   5         James Faulkner   Aus        315       361 v NZ at Melbourne 2015

 

*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after a minimum of 40 started innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating after he has conceded 1,500 runs.

!indicates career-highest rating

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