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Reigning ICC World Twenty20 champion Sri Lanka needs to win one match against New Zealand to retain its number-one ranking

Sri Lanka (125) leads eighth-ranked New Zealand (108) by 17 points, which means it is expected to win the series comfortably.

06 January 2016 14:12

Reigning ICC World Twenty20 champion Sri Lanka needs to win one match against New Zealand to retain its number-one ranking - Cricket News

Sri Lanka's cricketers celebrate with the trophy after winning the ICC World Twenty20 2014.

ICC World Twenty20 champion Sri Lanka goes head to head with host New Zealand in a two-match Twenty20 International series on Thursday, 7 January, in Mount Maunganui fully aware that it needs to either draw or win the series to retain its number-one position on the ICC T20I Team Rankings.

Sri Lanka (125) leads eighth-ranked New Zealand (108) by 17 points, which means it is expected to win the series comfortably. This, in turn, means if the series ends in a draw, the difference will reduce to 14 points, but more importantly, Sri Lanka will retain its number-one position.

In contrast, if New Zealand wins both the matches, then Sri Lanka will join the West Indies and Australia on 118 points but will be ranked behind the West Indies and Australia in third position when the points are calculated beyond the decimal point. In this scenario, New Zealand will rise to seventh position on 114 points and will reduce the gap with Sri Lanka to just four points.

The last time eighth-ranked New Zealand played Sri Lanka was in the ICC World Twenty20 in 2014, when it lost by a big margin. This year, Sri Lanka’s record in T20Is reads as one win out of four while New Zealand is marginally better with two wins out of four.

There is plenty to play for as both the sides head into the final phase of their preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016, which will take place from 8 March to 3 April. With a lot of T20I cricket to be played in the lead up to the ICC World Twenty India 2016, changes are expected in the ICC T20I Team Championship table.

To find out exactly how the forthcoming series will affect the T20 rankings table, please click here. The T20I rankings table is updated after each match.

Meanwhile, in the absence of Brendon McCullum, an in-form Kane Williamson will lead New Zealand. The 25-year-old is ranked 14th in the ICC T20I Player Rankings, and has an opportunity to break into the top 10.

Martin Guptill, who was the star of the ODI series, will start in 10th position and no doubt will have a crucial role to play for his side.

For Sri Lanka, a lot will depend on the experienced shoulders of Tillakaratne Dilshan. The 39-year-old is ranked at an impressive ninth, and will be the guiding force for the side in the absence of regular captain Lasith Malinga who has been ruled out due to injury.

Aaron Finch of Australia, India’s Virat Kohli and Alex Hales of England occupy the top three spots in the batsman rankings.

A look at the ICC T20I Bowler Rankings shows Sri Lanka bowler Sachithra Senanayake as the highest-ranked bowler from either side in number-three. Nuwan Kulasekara is the other bowler inside the top 10 in 10th spot.

For New Zealand, Mitchell McClenaghan is one to watch out for. The left-arm medium fast bowler is ranked 12th, a career-best position for him, along with Adam Milne, also at a career-high position of 41st.

Series schedule:

7 Jan – 1st T20I, Mount Maunganui

10 Jan – 2nd T20I, Auckland

ICC T20I Team Rankings (as on 6 January 2016)

Rank Team Points

1 Sri Lanka 125

2 West Indies 118

3 Australia 118

4 England 117

5 South Africa 115

6 Pakistan 114

7 India 110

8 New Zealand 108

9 Afghanistan 79

10 Bangladesh 69

11 Hong Kong 66

12 Scotland 66

13 Netherlands 61

14 Zimbabwe 53

15 Ireland 42

ICC T20I PLAYER RANKINGS (as on 6 January, before the start of New Zealand-Sri Lanka series)

Batsmen (top 10)

Rank Player Team Points Avge. S/Rate HS Ranking

1 Aaron Finch Aus 854 39.78 152 892 v Ban at Mirpur 2014

2 Virat Kohli Ind 845 44.17 133 897 v Eng at Edgbaston 2014

3 Alex Hales Eng 795 34.71 136 866 v Ind at Edgbaston 2014

4 F du Plessis SA 758 39.28 135 843 v Ban at Mirpur 2015

5 B McCullum NZ 712 35.66 136 849 v Ban at Pallekele 2012

6 K Perera SL 706 27.09 133 751 v SA at Chittagong 2014

7 Chris Gayle WI 703 35.15 143 831 v Aus at Colombo (RPS) 2012

8 E Morgan Eng 665 30.59 133 872 v Ind at Old Trafford 2011

9 T Dilshan SL 662 28.90 121 802 v NZ at Colombo (RPS) 2009

10 M Guptill NZ 653 32.13 123 793 v SA at Hamilton 2012

Selected Rankings:

Rank Player Team Points Avge. S/Rate HS Ranking

14 K Williamson NZ 622*! 29.20 128 622 v SA at Centurion 2015

38 Angelo Mathews SL 484 25.48 121 493 v WI at Mirpur 2014

43 Ross Taylor NZ 455 23.68 119 538 v Pak at Hamilton 2010

59 Thisara Perera SL 398* 29.31 153 429 v Eng at The Oval 2014

82 S Jayasuriya SL 293*! 35.33 123 293 v WI at Colombo (RPS) 2015

Bowlers (top 10)

Rank Player Team Points Avge Eco. Highest Ranking

1 Sunil Narine WI 773 17.75 5.69 817 v Pak at St. Vincent 2013

2 Samuel Badree WI 751 14.96 5.39 855 v Pak at Mirpur 2014

3 S.Senanayake SL 699* 17.45 6.19 712 v Eng at The Oval 2014

4 Lasith Malinga SL 684! 21.02 7.27 684 v WI at Colombo (RPS) 2015

5 R. Ashwin Ind 681 26.96 7.24 717 v SA at Mirpur 2014

6 Shahid Afridi Pak 670 23.68 6.56 814 v SL at Colombo (RPS) 2009

7 Mitchell Starc Aus 659 19.53 6.72 702 v Pak at Dubai 2014

8 N. McCullum NZ 642 22.85 6.90 709 v Zim at Harare 2011

9 Imran Tahir SA 641* 15.77 6.45 675 v WI at Johannesburg 2015

10 N. Kulasekara SL 629 23.89 7.27 676 v Aus at Melbourne 2013

Selected Rankings:

Rank Player Team Points Avge Eco. Highest Ranking

12 M McClenaghan NZ 612! 23.79 7.89 612 v SA at Centurion 2015
19 Angelo Mathews SL 571 26.96 6.76 645 v SA at Colombo (RPS) 2013

41 Adam Milne NZ 484*! 32.12 7.17 484 v SA at Centurion 2015

48 Tim Southee NZ 470 25.69 8.62 628 v Pak at Pallekele 2012

57 Thisara Perera SL 444 25.42 8.29 462 v Pak at Colombo (RPS) 2015

80 J Neesham NZ 372*! 22.00 7.64 372 v SA at Centurion 2015

89 Corey Anderson NZ 346* 38.88 8.75 407 v WI at Dominica 2014

91 Trent Boult NZ 338* 19.50 7.50 382 v WI at Dominica 2014

105 T Dilshan SL 285* 45.66 7.61 286 v Ban at Chittagong 2014


All-rounders (top five)

Rank Player Team Points HS Ranking

1 Shakib Al Hasan Ban 362 408 v Pak at Mirpur 2015

2 Shahid Afridi Pak 330 413 v NZ at Dubai 2009

3 Shane Watson Aus 304 557 v SA at Colombo (RPS) 2012

4 Mohammad Hafeez Pak 303 441 v SL at Dubai 2013

5 Marlon Samuels WI 282 321 v SL at Mirpur 2014

!indicates career-highest rating