ODI ranking: SA may dethrone Oz for first time

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:South Africa is in with a real chance of displacing world champions Australia for the first time in the ICC ODI rankings should it beat Pakistan in the fifth and final ODI in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

India will have to pull up their socks as it could drop to as low as sixth if they lose their two remaining ODIs in the current series against Sri Lanka while the Black Caps could move up to third with a good showing Australia in the Chappell-Hadlee series.

However, the honour of toppling Australia will also depend as much on how the Kiwis perform in the three-match Chappell-Hadlee series which starts in Wellington.

For South Africa to top the table, New Zealand will have to win the series by either a 3-0 or 2-1 margin win.

The Proteas currently lie just three ratings points behind Ricky Pontings team and can now arrest the ICC ODI Championship shield from the Australians grasp for the first time since the current format of the rankings was introduced in 2002.

Should South Africa beat Pakistan at the Wanderers it will move up to 128 points.

South Africa has moved up steadily in the past 12 months since it failed to reach the final of the tri-series in Australia in the 2005-06 season. Early last year, it beat Australia 3-2 in a thrilling home ODI series, by chasing an improbable 438 in the final match in Johannesburg.

It also made the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy in India and since being outplayed by Australia and Sri Lanka in that 2005-6 tri-series, it has won 14 ODIs and lost just five, including a 4-0 series win over India.

There could be plenty of other movements in the ICC ODI Championship in the build up to the ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies.

Just six points separate seventh placed England from Pakistan in the third spot. But when the first ball is bowled in West Indies on March 13, the points game will be far away from evryone's mind.

ICC ODI Championship list : 1 Australia 130 2 South Africa 127 3 Pakistan 112 4 Sri Lanka 110 5 India 107 6 New Zealand 107 7 England 106 8 West Indies 101 9 Bangladesh 42 10 Zimbabwe 22


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