With five batsmen in the top 11 places of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Player Rankings for One-day International (ODI) batsmen, Australia are clear favourite to dominate cricket tri-series with England and New Zealand that starts on Friday (today) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Michael Hussey, Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke are all in fine form at present. With the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) just two months away, they will be keen to make sure that continues as they begin countdown to big one in the West Indies. In contrast, England has just one player, Kevin Pietersen, in top 20 and New Zealand can only manage one, captain Stephen Fleming, in top 25.
With England ranked eighth in the ICC ODI Championship it is perhaps no surprise it does not have a single bowler in the top 20 of the ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers.
If you take out Steve Harmison, who retired from ODI, Andrew Flintoff is its highest ranked bowler, in the 25th place.
In bowling, things are a little more encouraging for New Zealand. Daniel Vettori moved into the top five of the ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers and reached his highest ever rating in the ICC Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders.
Kiwis can draw plenty of encouragement from the fact that it, like Australia, has four bowlers ranked higher than England’s best - Vettori, Shane Bond, Kyle Mills and Jacob Oram, although latter two are absent with injuries at the start of the series.
Flintoff is the highest ranked all-rounder of the three countries as he in the fourth position in the ICC Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders, behind South African Shaun Pollock, Chris Gayle of the West Indies & Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya.
Meanwhile, South Africa, currently five rating points off the top spot, could move above Australia at top of the ICC ODI Championship before the start of the World Cup if it has good series against Pakistan and Ricky Ponting’s men fail to fire.
India can move past Sri Lanka into the fifth place in the ICC ODI Championship if it beats the West Indies 3-0 or 4-0 in the upcoming series.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, January 12th, 2007 and is filed under General.
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