T20 top spot on line as India take on Sri Lanka

Tuesday, February 09, 2016
T20 top spot on line as India and Sri Lanka go head to head in three-match series
[PHOTO: Tourism Victoria/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
Dubai: World T20 2016 host India and defending champion Sri Lanka go head to head in a three-match series from Tuesday with the number-one ranking on the championship table up for grabs.

India, which vaulted seven places to first after sweeping aside Australia last week, needs to win the series against Sri Lanka to retain the coveted position. In contrast, Sri Lanka will also aim to win the series, which will help it leapfrog India and the West Indies into the top spot.

With the ICC World Twenty20 2016 starting in less than four weeks, this series is extremely crucial for both sides. India and Sri Lanka will not only aim to find the winning combination and momentum, but also target entering the tournament as the number-one ranked side, which will serve as an additional confidence-booster.

Following this series, India and Sri Lanka will feature in the Asia Cup Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh before launching their ICC World Twenty20 campaigns on 15 and 17 March respectively. Sri Lanka will defend the title it won in Bangladesh in 2014 in the tournament to be staged from 8 March to 3 April, while India will try to repeat its ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 glory when it lifted the most prestigious trophy in the sport in front of its fans in Mumbai.

The following are the series permutations:
  • If India wins 3-0 – India (1st) 127; Sri Lanka (7th) 112
  • If India wins 2-1 – India (1st) 122; Sri Lanka (4th) 116
  • If Sri Lanka wins 2-1 – India (3rd) 117; Sri Lanka (1st) 121
  • If Sri Lanka wins 3-0 – India (7th) 112; Sri Lanka (1st) 125

Meanwhile, India has rested number-one ranked T20I batsman Virat Kohli, which means his team-mate Suresh Raina will start as the highest-ranked batsman in 13th position. Other batsmen featuring inside the top 20 include Tillakaratne Dilshan (14th), Rohit Sharma (17th) and Yuvraj Singh (20th).

India captain MS Dhoni is 38th, 108 points behind Yuvraj, while Shikhar Dhawan is 87th and Ajinkya Rahane 89th.

Among bowlers, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin will start in second place, 81 points behind number-one ranked Sunil Narine of the West Indies, while Lasith Malinga is sixth, Nuwan Kulasekara is 10th and Ravindra Jadeja is 18th.

Bowlers outside the top 20 include Bhuvneshwar Kumar (38th), Harbhajan Singh (56th), Thisara Perera (59th) and Dilshan (104th).

In the all-rounders’ list, Yuvraj will enter the series in seventh position, 15 points behind fifth-ranked Mathews, who has been rested. Australia’s Shane Watson is ranked number one, 89 points ahead of Yuvraj.
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