England’s burgeoning status as a white-ball team has been confirmed by their ascent to the top of the latest ICC one-day rankings, with India slipping to No.2 on the list.
England’s ascent to the top spot was cemented by two impressive away victories this winter – they beat Australia 4-1 in January before seeing off New Zealand 3-2 in March.
However, they owe much of their rise to the removal from the permutations of their dismal run of form in 2014-15, when they won just seven out of 25 ODIs and bombed out of the World Cup at the group stages following an infamous defeat against Bangladesh at Adelaide.
That 2014-15 season, which also featured the removal of Alastair Cook as ODI captain in the wake of a losing tour of Sri Lanka, is now widely recognised as a watershed moment for English cricket.
Eoin Morgan’s appointment as captain was unable to salvage their World Cup campaign, but England’s form in the subsequent home summer was revelatory. Against New Zealand at Edgbaston, in their first completed fixture of the post-World Cup era, England posted their first 400-plus total in ODIs, and have made 300 or more in 27 of their 60 completed innings.
England, who last topped the ODI rankings in January 2013, have gained eight points and moved to 125 points. India, who were at the top before the update, have lost a solitary point and are in second place with a total of 122 points.
South Africa, who were second, have dropped down to third place after losing four points, from 117 to 113, leaving them nine points adrift of India and only one point ahead of fourth- placed New Zealand.
The remaining places remain unchanged, confirming that the current top 10 ranked sides are the ones who will be playing at next year’s World Cup in England. However, there have been some significant changes in points.
World champions Australia have lost eight points to go down to 104 in fifth position and are only two points ahead Pakistan, last year’s Champions Trophy winners, who have gained six points.
In other changes, Bangladesh (93 points) have gained three points, Sri Lanka (77) have lost seven points, the Windies (69) have lost five points, Afghanistan (63) have gained five points, Zimbabwe (55) have gained four points and 12th-placed Ireland (38) have lost three points.
In the T20I rankings, led by Pakistan, there is no change in the top seven places but Afghanistan are now ahead of Sri Lanka in eighth slot.