India slump to No.8 in the latest ICC T20I Rankings
New Zealand’s thrilling victory over Sri Lanka in the first T20I of the two-match series on Thursday meant bad news for India, as they slumped further from seventh to the eighth spot in the latest ICC T20I rankings.
Before this game, NZ were placed eighth with 108 rating points, just two points behind the seventh-ranked India. However, with this victory, they gained 3 points to marginally outpace the Indian team with 111 points against their name, thereby occupying the seventh position.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, remain atop the T20 rankings, but will have to draw the series now, to hold on to the numero uno position, as they suffered a loss of four points following their defeat against the Kiwis that saw their tally getting reduced to 121 from 125.
They’re ahead of the second-ranked West Indies (118) by 3 points, but should they lose the series 0-2, they would be tied with the Caribbean nation as well as Australia on 118 points, but would be ranked below the aforementioned two teams at the third spot, when the rating beyond the decimal point is considered.
Both the sides, however, have ample opportunities to improve those figures before the ICC World T20 2016, set commence from March 8 in India. As the teams gear up for the tournament, there are plenty of bilateral T20 series on the horizon, as India play Australia, Bangladesh play Zimbabwe, and Pakistan play New Zealand, in order to gain sufficient match practice before the World Cup.
Sri Lanka are also slated to visit their neighbours as they arrive in India to play a three-match T20I series next month.
Williamson looks to break into top 10
In the T20 batsmen’s rankings, New Zealand’s captain-in-waiting Kane Williamson, who will lead the side in the World T20 following Brendon McCullum’s retirement after the home series against Australia, has a chance to break into the top 10, as he is currently ranked 14th and is in sublime form.
The star of the one-day series with his blitzkrieg innings, Martin Guptill, who is ranked 10th would certainly look to improve that stat, while Mitchell McClenaghan would look to break into the top 10, who currently sits on the 12th spot in the bowler’s rankings.
Nathan McCullum sits prettily at No. 8 as a bowler but is, for now, sidelined due to an aggravated back problem.
Sri Lanka would heavily depend on their 9th ranked 39-year old veteran, Tillakaratne Dilshan, who’d look to guide his side in the absence of Lasith Malinga, who has been ruled out of the NZ series due to injury.
Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli, and Alex Hales occupy the top three positions in the batsmen’s rankings, with Faf du Plessis and Brendon McCullum rounding up the top 5.