DUBAI: New Zealand cricket team face the prospect of slipping down the International Cricket Council (ICC) men’s ODI team rankings in their upcoming three-match home series against Sri Lanka, which is scheduled to start on January 3.
Having leap-frogged South Africa to third position in the Test rankings only last week with a 1-0 series win over Sri Lanka, they could now see South Africa overtake them to third place in the ODI table if they did not win all three matches against Sri Lanka.
New Zealand, currently ranked third with 112 points, will slip to 111 points if they win by a margin of 2-1 while a 3-0 win will lift them to 113 points. Sri Lanka will gain four points in the scenario of blanking the opposition but will remain 10 points adrift of seventh-placed Bangladesh even with such a huge verdict.
In the ICC men’s ODI Player Rankings, New Zealand’s experienced batsman Ross Taylor is holding the third position and would be looking to bridge the gap with the leading India pair of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
Captain Kane Williamson (10th) and Martin Guptill (14th) are the other two leading batsmen for the home side.
New Zealand’s fast bowlers Trent Boult (eighth) and Tim Southee (35th) would be looking to carry their form from the preceding Test series. Fast bowler Matt Henry (22nd) is eyeing the chance to advance a couple of places with Tim Murtagh of Ireland and Moeen Ali of England within four points of his tally of 598 rating points.
For Sri Lanka, Niroshan Dickwella is the leading batsman in 27th position and Angelo Mathews is only two slots behind. Nuwan Pradeep (48th) and captain Lasith Malinga (49th) will be the leading bowlers in the absence of 12th-ranked spinner Akila Dananjaya who was suspended from international cricket due to an illegal bowling action. (ANI)