After a dominant performance in the 3rd ODI against West Indies, Pakistan have moved past their opponents into eighth spot in the ICC ODI rankings. They had entered into the 3-match series on 86 rating points with the Caribbean outfit on 94 rating points. As a consequence of securing a 3-0 whitewash, Azhar Ali’s team overtook West Indies and give a massive boost to their hopes of qualifying directly for the 2019 World Cup.
With only the top ranked seven teams aside from host England earning automatic entry into the flagship tournament, Pakistan now have a one-point advantage over the ninth-placed West Indies while trailing behind seventh-ranked Bangladesh by six rating points. The reason behind Jason Holder’s side losing as many as six rating points is due to the fact they were ranked above their adversaries.
On the other hand, Pakistan gained three rating points and will be eager to continue their rejuvenation in the limited-overs format. Prior to the ODI series, they had blanked West Indies 3-0 in the T20I series as well. Armed with a more purposeful top-order, there seemed to be a discernable change in their approach even as the bowling attack operated together by complementing each other.
Coach Mickey Arthur should be pleased with the remarkable consistency shown by 21-year old Babar Azam who stroked his way towards a third successive century. The right-hander became the third Pakistani batsman to achieve this feat after Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar. He also toppled Quinton de Kock’s record of scoring the most runs in a 3-match ODI series.
Elsewhere in Durban, South Africa eclipsed New Zealand and moved to the second spot after gaining a rating point as a result of their stunning four-wicket victory against Australia. The Kiwis trail them by one rating point while India retain their fourth position. Even though Steve Smith’s men lost a rating point, they are still the top-ranked team and have a six-point advantage over the Proteas.
With still two matches to go in the ODI series, South Africa have an opportunity to cut Australia’s lead to just two rating points if they manage to win both. If Australia triumph in those two games, the Proteas will drop down to third while the Aussies have a nine-point lead at the top of the table. The upcoming ODI series against England also provides a chance for Bangladesh to overtake Sri Lanka to the sixth position should they complete a 3-0 whitewash.
Note: All rankings are accurate as of 6th October, 2016 following the conclusion of the 3rd ODI between Pakistan and West Indies in Abu Dhabi & the 3rd ODI between South Africa and Australia in Durban.