Rabada boost for top-ranked South Africa ahead of ICC Champions Trophy

30 May, 2017 5:24 pm

DUBAI – South Africa was always going to be one of the sides to watch in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 but its profile got another boost with pace bowler Kagiso Rabada moving up four places to take the top spot in the ICC Player Rankings for ODI Bowlers.

Top-ranked South Africa lost its three-match series to England 2-1 but former ICC U19 World Cup star Rabada’s haul of four for 39 in the final match at Lord’s on Monday helped him finish the series with seven wickets and become the youngest number-one bowler since Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq in 1998.

Rabada, just five days past his 22nd birthday, has displaced his compatriot Imran Tahir whom he leads by two points. With captain AB de Villiers top-ranked among batsmen, South Africa now has the top two bowlers as well as four players in the top 10 of the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen – Quinton de Kock (fourth), Faf du Plessis (sixth) and Hashim Amla (10th) being the others.

The intense competition in the individual rankings justifies the tournament’s name as players from the eight participating teams feature prominently in it and not much separates the top players in the fray. The top three batsmen – de Villiers, David Warner and Virat Kohli are separated by just 22 points while only 23 points separate the top three bowlers – Rabada, Tahir and Mitchell Starc.

South Africa, India and England have four batsmen each inside the top 20 with New Zealand (three), Australia and Pakistan (two each) also having significant presence. Similarly, among bowlers, Bangladesh and England have three each inside the top 20, followed by New Zealand, South Africa and Australia with two each. In the all-rounders’ list led by Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, there are three players from England in the top 10.

England’s series win over South Africa, which helped it gain two points, also reflects the close competition that can be expected in a crisp tournament like the ICC Champions Trophy.

The top five ODI teams are close to each other with South Africa (122), Australia (118), India (117), New Zealand (114) and England (112) all having a lot to play for in the eight-team tournament. For example, Australia and India could overtake South Africa by the next rankings update if they win all their three league matches and South Africa loses all its three matches.

South Africa, Australia, India and New Zealand have all won this prestigious tournament in the past while last time’s finalist England will be hoping to do one better in home conditions and with the confidence of the series win over South Africa.

The tournament, which runs from 1-18 June, also gives an opportunity to teams like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan to consolidate their positions in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings as England and the seven other top-ranked sides gain direct qualification berths to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Last week, Bangladesh pipped Sri Lanka on decimal points to reach sixth rank for the first time, ahead of three former World champions – Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the West Indies. Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are on 93 points and eighth-ranked Pakistan on 88 points, giving these teams a chance to gain more points by upsetting better-ranked sides since the rankings are weighted to reflect the difference in points.

Meanwhile, other players to gain in the rankings after the England-South Africa series include Quinton de Kock (up two places to fourth) and Eoin Morgan (up five places to 17th) among batsmen and Liam Plunkett (up seven places to 16th) among bowlers.

ICC ODI Team Rankings (as on May 30 before the ICC Champions Trophy)

Rank    Team            Points

1.     South Africa      122 (-1)

2.     Australia           118

3.     India               117

4.     New Zealand     114

5.     England          112 (+2)

6.     Bangladesh       93

7.     Sri Lanka          93

8.     Pakistan           88

9.     West Indies       79

10.  Afghanistan       52

11.  Zimbabwe         46

12.  Ireland              41

(Developed by David Kendix)

MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings (as on 30 May, before the ICC Champions Trophy)

Batsmen (top 20)

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts       Avge              Highest Rating

   1       ( – )       AB de Villiers      SA        874            54.38              902 v NZ at Auckland 2015

   2       ( – )       David Warner    Aus      871      44.84                    880 v Pak at Adelaide 2017

   3       ( – )       Virat Kohli         Ind       852      53.11                      886 v Ban at Fatullah 2014

   4       (+2)      Q. de Kock       SA        776      43.71                       803 v NZ at Wellington 2017

   5       (-1)       Joe Root           Eng      772      47.89                      792 v Ire at Lord’s 2017

   6       (-1)       Faf du Plessis   SA        765      43.34                     791 v SL at Cape Town 2017

   7=     (+1)      Babar Azam      Pak      762*!    55.08                   762 v WI at Guyana 2017

            ( – )       Martin Guptill    NZ        762      43.66                     789 v SA at Hamilton 2017

   9       ( – )       K. Williamson    NZ        742      45.90                     798 v SA at Centurion 2015

  10      (+1)      Hashim Amla    SA        734      50.22                    901 v Eng at Trent Bridge 2012

  11      (-1)       Steve Smith      Aus      733      43.67                    752 v Pak at Sydney 2017


  12      ( – )       Rohit Sharma    Ind       717      41.37                   761 v  Aus at Sydney 2016

  13      ( – )       MS Dhoni          Ind       712      50.96                      836 v Aus at Delhi 2009

  14      ( – )       Ross Taylor      NZ        701      44.01                      743 v Zim at Harare 2015

  15      (-1)       S. Dhawan        Ind       690      42.91                     794 v SA at Melbourne 2015

  16      ( – )       Alex Hales        Eng      667      37.86                       692 v SA at Headingley 2017

  17=    (+5)      Eoin Morgan     Eng      646      38.10                   690 v Aus at The Oval 2010

            ( – )       Jos Buttler        Eng      646      36.40                      723 v Ban at Mirpur 2016

  19      ( – )       Tamim Iqbal      Ban      642!                                   33.43   642 v NZ at Dublin 2017

  20      ( – )       M. Hafeez         Pak      632      32.73                       665 v Ban at Mirpur 2014

Bowlers (top 20)

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts      Avge     Eco      Highest Rating

   1       (+4)      K. Rabada        SA        724!     24.90    5.13          724 v Eng at Lord’s 2017

   2       (-1)       Imran Tahir       SA        722      24.18    4.67        786 v SL at Johannesburg 2017

   3       (-1)       Mitchell Starc    Aus      701      19.88    4.81       783 v NZ at Melbourne 2015

   4       (-1)       Sunil Narine      WI        690      26.46    4.12        791 v SL at Jamaica 2013

   5       (+1)      J. Hazlewood    Aus      684*!   25.18    4.65       684 v NZ at Hamilton 2017

   6       (-2)       Trent Boult        NZ        683      24.85    4.98         766 v Ind at Delhi 2016

   7       ( – )       Chris Woakes   Eng      645      31.56    5.59          651 v SA at Headingley 2017

   8       ( – )       M. Nabi              Afg      622      32.33    4.32              653 v Zim at Harare 2017

   9       (+1)      S. Al Hasan       Ban      620      28.74    4.38            717 v Zim at Chittagong 2009

  10      (+1)      M. Santner        NZ        617*!   32.20    4.95          617 v Ban at Dublin 2017

  11=    (-2)       Matt Henry        NZ        615      25.26    5.62           675 v Aus at Hamilton 2016

            ( – )       Akshar Patel     Ind       615*    30.20    4.38             624 v NZ at Visakhapatnam 2016

  13      ( – )       Amit Mishra      Ind       609*    23.60    4.72            618 v NZ at Visakhapatnam 2016

  14      (+1)      M. Mortaza       Ban      601      30.11    4.75            653 v Zim at Mirpur 2009

  15      (+3)      M. Rahman       Ban      600*!   16.00    4.62           600 v NZ at Dublin 2017

  16      (+7)      Liam Plunkett    Eng      597*    31.13    5.73         600 v SA at Southampton 2017

  17      (-1)       Jason Holder     WI        590      32.90    5.44          605 v SL at Bulawayo 2016

  18=    (-1)       Dale Steyn        SA        579      26.62    4.94             746 v Ind at Durban 2013

            (+2)      R. Ashwin         Ind       579      32.37    4.91                691 v SL at Hambantota 2012

  20      (-6)       Adil Rashid        Eng      576      34.12    5.68              655 v Ban at Chittagong 2016 

All-rounders (top five)

Rank    (+/-)      Player               Team     Pts      Highest Rating

   1       ( – )       S. Al Hasan       Ban      362      453 v Zim at Chittagong 2009

   2       ( – )       M. Hafeez         Pak      353      438 v Ind at Kolkata 2013

   3       ( – )       M. Nabi              Afg      330      349 v Ire at Greater Noida 2017

   4       ( – )       A. Mathews       SL        309      427 v Eng at Colombo (RPS) 2014

   5       ( – )       J. Faulkner        Aus      308      361 v NZ at Melbourne 2015. –ICC




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