Room to improve for India in T20I ranking

Dubai: India, who are currently standing at the number three spot in the ICC T20I rankings, will aim to climb up to the top of the standings when they head into the series against Ireland and England, beginning June 27 at the Malahide Cricket Club Ground in Malahide.

According to the International Cricket Council (ICC), top-three teams that are Pakistan, Australia and India are in stiff competition with each other as all the teams will be seen in action in the upcoming matches.

India have the potential of reaching 127 points by winning their five matches – two against Ireland and three against England. On the other hand, England could go up to 126 points if they beat Australia and then defeat India 3-0. India or England could reach the top spot if Zimbabwe are able to pull off a couple of upsets in the Tri-Series and depending on other results, Australia and Pakistan could be restricted to below those numbers.

Pakistan, who lead the table with 131 points, will be the favourites in the upcoming Zimbabwe Tri-series to be played in Harare from July 1 to 8 but the presence of Australia in the competition spices up the contests as the reigning ICC Cricket World Cup champions are only five points behind Pakistan and with a good chance to overtake them.

Irrespective of the result of Australia’s one-off match against England ahead of the tournament, they can overtake Pakistan in the double-league if they win all their four matches against Pakistan and Zimbabwe. In such a scenario, they will move ahead of Pakistan even if the latter win both their matches against Zimbabwe.

Australia can go up to 137 points if they beat England, win their four league matches and beat Pakistan in the final, while Pakistan will similarly reach 136 points if they win all their four league matches and the final against Australia.

Zimbabwe, currently placed 12th, will overtake Scotland on the points table even with a solitary win in the tournament.

Talking about the batting department, Pakistan’s Babar Azam heads the list of batsmen while the Australia pair of Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch are in third and fourth positions. India captain Virat Kohli, a former top-ranked batsman will be looking to claw back from his eighth position while England’s Jos Buttler would be looking to continue his ODI form and better his 26th position in T20Is.

Meanwhile, wrist-spinners Shadab Khan of Pakistan (2nd) and Yuzvendra Chahal of India (3rd) will be the leading bowlers seen in upcoming matches while Zimbabwe’s Hamilton Masakadza (10th among batsmen) and Ireland’s George Dockrell (19th among bowlers) will be the others looking to better their positions.

On a related note, India are slated to play two T20I against Ireland, starting June 27 before the Kohli-led side will head to England for three-match T20I series, three-match ODI series and five Tests. (ANI)