Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Great opportunity for teams and players to improve rankings

Angelo Mathews
Angelo Mathews and Alastair Cook pose with the trophy

Sri Lanka and England have an opportunity to gain vital rankings points when they go head-to-head in the first of seven One-Day Internationals (ODIs) that starts on Wednesday in Colombo.

Fourth-placed Sri Lanka currently hold a one-point lead over England, and can further increase their lead while also reducing the gap with third place South Africa. A seven-nil series win for Sri Lanka will put them ahead of South Africa by a fraction of a point and open up a 12-point gap over England, while a 6-1 win would see it remain in fourth place on 111 points, and hold a nine-point lead over England.

In a sharp contrast, if England win the series seven-nil, they would rise two places to third on 113 rankings points, four adrift of joint leaders Australia and India. A 6-1 win would see England leapfrog Sri Lanka into fourth place on 111 rating points, one rating point behind third-ranked South Africa.

Meanwhile, on the eve of the series, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakarra is the highest-ranked batsman from either side in the Reliance ICC ODI Player Rankings for ODI batsmen. The 37-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman lies in fifth place, and he will be looking to gain ground on India’s Shikhar Dhawan who is a single rating point ahead of him. The next best-ranked Sri Lanka batsmen are Tillakaratne Dilshan (9th) and Angelo Mathews (10th).

For England, Eoin Morgan (22nd), Cook (23rd) and Ian Bell (27th) are the top-ranked batsmen and will be aiming to head in the upward direction.

In the ICC Players Rankings for ODI bowlers, Lancashire paceman James Anderson is the highest-ranked bowler on either side in fourth place, four places above his team-mate Steven Finn who lies in eighth position. Sri Lanka’s highest-ranked bowler is Rangana Herath (16th) while Mathews lies in 22nd place.

Ahead of the start of the series, in-form Mathews holds a nine-point advantage at the top of the Reliance ICC ODI Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders, with his team-mate Tillakaratne Dilshan in fifth place.

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