India has gained a spot and has moved to the third spot in the latest ICC ODI Team Rankings released on May 1. India, which will defend the Champions Trophy title in the UK in June, have swapped places with 2015 World Cup finalist New Zealand. Both the sides have gained points following the update but India’s five-point gain against New Zealand’s increase of three means the Virat Kohli-led side are now ranked third on 117 points and the Black Caps are fourth with 115 points.
Meanwhile, South Africa have retained the numero one spot in the rankings. The Proteas have gained four points following the annual update and is now on 123 points, while world champion and second-ranked Australia have stayed on 118 points. However, eighth-ranked Pakistan has opened up a nine-point advantage over ninth-ranked West Indies, which can prove decisive since England, plus the next seven highest-ranked sides as on September 30, 2017 will qualify automatically for the 2019 World Cup.
Both Pakistan and West Indies have dropped points following the update – Pakistan slipping from 90 points to 88 points and the West Indies sliding from 83 points to 79 points. However, Pakistan’s pre-update seven-point gap has extended to nine points. Bangladesh has surrendered one point and is now on 91 points, but its gap over eighth-ranked Pakistan has increased from two points to three.
Sri Lanka, which was sitting pretty on 98 points prior to the annual update, have slid to 93 points to now lead Bangladesh by only two points. However, Sri Lanka lead the West Indies by 14 points. England has retained its fifth ranking but has moved up one point to 109. There is no change to 10th-ranked Afghanistan’s tally of 52 points, but 11th-ranked Zimbabwe has dropped two points and is now on 46 points. Ireland has gained one point and is on 43 points.
The small difference in points in the middle of the table adds a lot of context, entertainment and excitement to the upcoming Champions Trophy and other matches up to September 30 since performances during this period could help sides to qualify directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 rather than having to progress through the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018.
The annual update is carried out to ensure the table continues to reflect teams’ recent form with older results being discarded. As such, the table now reflects all matches from 1 May 2014, with matches played from 1 May 2016 carrying 100 per cent weighting.