Top ODI spot up for grabs in India's series against England
Dubai, July 10 (IANS) India will have to blank England 3-0 in the upcoming One-Day International (ODI) series to get back to the top spot in the ICC rankings, a statement from cricket's world governing body stated on Tuesday.
England and India play the first match of their upcoming series in Nottingham on Thursday, kicking off a month-long extravaganza of ODIs featuring 10 sides from four continents.
Coming on the back of a well-contested Twenty20 International series, which India won 2-1, the top two sides in the ODI men's team rankings present some interesting prospects in the three-match series a year ahead of the World Cup to be hosted by England and Wales from May 30 to July 14.
India, who had conceded the top ranking to England at the annual update on May 2, get a chance of claiming back the spot, but for that, they will have to blank their adversaries 3-0.
England on the other hand will run up a lead of 10 points at the top of the table if they win by the same margin.
The possibility of a change at the top though is not the only matter of interest in the upcoming matches since seven of the 10 teams playing in the World Cup will be on view during this period until August 12.
Apart from the England-India series ending on July 17, Zimbabwe will host Pakistan for five matches from July 13 to 22, the West Indies will play three at home versus Bangladesh from July 22 to 28, Sri Lanka will host South Africa for five matches from 29 July to 12 August and the Netherlands play two at home against Nepal.
Fifth-placed Pakistan will have to win the series against Zimbabwe by a margin of 4-1 in order to ensure they do not slip behind sixth-placed Australia, while 10th-ranked Zimbabwe will have to pull off a 4-1 win over Pakistan in order to leapfrog Afghanistan and move up one spot in the rankings table.
Similarly, third-ranked South Africa face the challenge of blanking Sri Lanka 5-0 in an away series to ensure they do not slip behind New Zealand even as mid-table sides Bangladesh (seventh), Sri Lanka (eighth) and the West Indies (ninth) will be vying for important points during this period.
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