Australia to enter CWC 2015 in pole position

Tuesday, February 03, 2015
[PHOTO: Jocelyn Kinghorn/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Melbourne: Australia will enter ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in pole position in the latest Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings which were released on Monday following its 112-run tri-series final victory over England in Perth on Sunday.

Australia’s victory means that it currently holds a six-point advantage over second-placed India, who also featured in the series, and the reigning ICC Cricket World Cup champion is a point clear of South Africa who lies a further point behind on 113 points.

With a number of ODI series concluding in recent days, the second and final match between New Zealand and Pakistan is set to be played on Tuesday, with the Black Caps holding a 1-0 lead following its seven-wicket win in Wellington on Saturday. A victory for sixth-placed New Zealand would see it reduce England’s lead to two points, while a win for seventh-placed Pakistan would level the series 1-1 and reduce the gap on the Black Caps to three points.

The 14 competing teams will then complete their final ICC Cricket World Cup warm-up fixtures ahead of the beginning of the tournament on February 14.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Glenn Maxwell has moved up 19 places to a career high 17th position in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen and is the highest mover in the top 20 after scoring 152 runs in five matches, while James Faulkner (up 14 places to a career high 21st) is just two ratings points behind South Africa’s Faf du Plessis in 20th place.

England’s Ian Bell, who was the highest runs scorer in the series (247 runs) has also vaulted 13 places to 25th. South Africa’s AB de Villiers remains in top spot, 24 points clear of his team-mate Hashim Amla.

There were also positive progressions for Black Caps batsman Luke Ronchi (up 33 places to a career high 27th), who could feature in Tuesday’s ODI in Napier, and England’s James Taylor (up 53 places to 86th).

In the ICC Players Rankings for ODI Bowlers, England’s James Anderson has moved up two places to fourth spot after taking seven wickets in the tri-series, at an average of just under 20. Australia’s Mitchell Starc, who was the top wicket-taker in the series (12 wickets for 196 in five matches) has moved up five places to seventh, while England’s top wicket-taker, Steven Finn (11 wickets for 235 in five matches), has progressed 14 places to 12th. Moeen Ali has also progressed his rankings by 41 places to 56th after taking seven wickets for 200 in the series.

Other recent significant movers include West Indies bowler Jason Holder (up 18 places to a career high 41st) and New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult (up 56 places to a career high 61st).

Meanwhile, in the Reliance ICC ODI Player Rankings for ODI All-rounders, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan has regained the number one ranking after moving up two places, 10 points clear of Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews in second place.
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