Dubai, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 hosts England would be looking to
maintain their position at the top of the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings in
upcoming matches that include a high-profile five-ODI series against World champions Australia.
England take on Scotland at Edinburgh on Sunday before playing at home against their arch-rivals from June 13 to 24, a series that will help the teams’ preparations for the mega event that runs from May 30 to July 14 next year at 11 venues across England and Wales, an ICC media statement on Friday said.
Though Lord’s, where the two sides are slated to meet in their World Cup league match on June 25 next year, is not a venue, the series will provide both sides an opportunity to gauge the conditions as the countdown begins to the 10-team event.
England, who overtook India to grab the top ODI spot after the annual update on May 2, are comfortably ahead of Australia and will remain at the top even if they lose the Australia series by a 2-3 margin provided they win the one-off match against Scotland. However, in such a scenario, they will be tied with India on 122 points and
ahead only on decimal points.
On the other hand, if England kick off with a loss to Scotland, they will have to win the series against fifth-ranked Australia or else lose the top position to India, who are presently three points behind England at 122 points.
A 2-3 loss to Australia in such a scenario will see them slide to 120 points. If England lose to Scotland, they will start the Australia series with 123 points while Scotland,who last week made it to the expanded 16-team points table, will gain five points and move up to 33 points.
Australia will not be able to overtake the opposition even if England lose all their six upcoming matches but Australia could go up to third position if they complete a 5-0 whitewash over England.
The ODI team rankings, unlike the Test rankings, are updated after each match. In the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings, England’s Test captain Joe Root is the
top-ranked batsman from either side at fourth position.
His team-mates Jos Buttler (19th) and Ben Stokes (21st), Australia’s Travis Head (23rd) and Scotland’s Kyle Coetzer (22nd) will be the other leading batsmen figuring in upcoming ODIs. England pace bowler Liam Plunkett will be the leading bowler in 19th position.