India to enter ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 as the number-one ranked T20I side

India to enter ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 as the number-one ranked T20I side

·         Only 18 points separate Dhoni’s side from eighth-ranked defending champion Sri Lanka

 

·         Host side aims to become the first team to lift the silverware in front of home crowd; South Africa hopes to end 18-year title drought; Australia targets missing trophy in its collection

 

·         Equally talented, matched and resourced sides lock horns in first round of the tournament on Tuesday in Nagpur

 

·         Finch, Ashwin and Watson to start as highest-ranked batsman, bowler and all-rounder respectively

 

India has strengthened its reputation as a strong title contender for the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 after it was confirmed on Sunday that it will enter the home tournament as the number-one ranked side in the world.

 The sixth edition of the tournament, to be held in India for the first time, will start on Tuesday when 13th-ranked Zimbabwe takes on 14th-ranked Hong Kong in Nagpur, which will be followed by the match between ninth-ranked Afghanistan and 11th-ranked Scotland. The second round will kick off on 15 March, also in Nagpur, when India goes head to head with New Zealand. The final will be played at Eden Gardens on 3 April.

 The 10-team women’s competition will also be played alongside the men’s second round with the semi-finals and final to take place before the men’s knock-out matches at the same venues.

 India’s number-one ranking was sealed late Sunday evening after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side won the Asia Cup in Mirpur, hours after Australia had chased down South Africa’s 204 to level the three-match series at one-all. Irrespective of which side now wins the series in Cape Town on Wednesday, it will not be enough to dislodge India from the top pedestal.

 India, which won the inaugural event in South Africa and finished runner-up in Bangladesh two years ago, is on 127 points, nine points clear of 2012 winner West Indies and South Africa, who are on equal points (118). New Zealand is fourth on 116, followed by 2010 winner England in fifth, 2010 losing finalist Australia in sixth, 2009 champion Pakistan in seventh and defending champion Sri Lanka in eighth.

 These eight sides qualified directlyfor the second round after finishing inside the top eight of the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Rankings as on 30 April 2015. Tenth-ranked Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have been joined in the first round by Afghanistan, Hong Kong, 15th-ranked Ireland, 12th-ranked Netherlands, 11th-ranked Scotland and 16th-ranked Oman, who qualified for the tournament proper after claiming the top six positions in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 in Ireland and Scotland.

 Bangladesh, Ireland, Netherlands and debutant Oman are in Group A, while Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Scotland and Zimbabwe are in Group B. If rankings have anything to do with qualification, then Bangladesh and Afghanistan should progress from Group A and B respectively. But it would not be wise to under-estimate the strength, talent, experience and ability of Ireland and Netherlands as well as Zimbabwe and Scotland. This means plenty of action and tight finishes are in store in the first-round matches.

 Since the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014, India has played 16 matches and has won 11, including 10 out of 11 T20Is this year. And this is reflected in the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Player Rankings which boasts a number of its players enjoying high rankings.

 In the batting table, Virat Kohli is second and is followed by Rohit Sharma (11th), Suresh Raina (16th), Yuvraj Singh (22nd), Dhoni (43rd) and Shikhar Dhawan (48th). In the absence of Sunil Narine, second-ranked Ravichandran Ashwin will start as the highest-ranked bowler while Ravindra Jadeja is 11th, Jasprit Bumrah is 27thand Yuvraj is 43rd. Yuvraj is also India’s highest-ranked all-rounder in sixth position.

 West Indies’ charge will once again be led by Chris Gayle, who is occupying the seventh position. The other top-ranked West Indies batsmen are Marlon Samuels (19th), Dwayne Bravo (32nd) and Dwayne Smith (50th), while 49th-ranked Bravo is its highest-ranked bowler. Captain Darren Sammy is 74th in the batting table, 62ndin the bowlers’ category and 25th in the all-rounders’ list.

 South Africa, which is searching for its first ICC major since winning the ICC Champions Trophy 1998 (then called ICC Knock-Out), has all the ammunition it needs to go the full distance. Since the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014, it has won 10 out of 16 matches. It boasts as many as six batsmen inside the top 50, led by captain Faf du Plessis in third, JP Duminy in 15th, Hashim Amla in 21st, Quinton de Kock in 24th, David Miller in 28th and AB de Villiers in 34th. Its bowlers also feature prominently in the list with Imran Tahir in third,  David Wiese in eighth, Kyle Abbott in 12th, Kagiso Rabada in 30th and Dale Steyn in 45th.

 Australia will be aiming to complete a Career Grand Slam by winning the missing ICC World Twenty20 India 2016. And though it has lost more than 50 per cent of matches it has played since the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 (played 10, won four, lost six to date), it remains a force to be reckoned with in this format. Australia’s Aaron Finch will start as the number-one ranked batsman, while its other top batsmen are David Warner (ninth), Shane Watson (13th) and Glenn Maxwell (31st). Its highest-ranked bowlers are Watson and Maxwell, who share 35th spot, while James Faulkner is 37th. Watson will start the tournament as world’s best all-rounder with Maxwell in seventh position.

 Sides featuring in the first-round matches from 8-13 March in Dharamsala and Nagpur include a number of players who feature in the top 50.

 Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza is the highest-ranked batsman in eighth position. He is followed by Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad (12th), Sabbir Rahman of Bangladesh (20th), Zimbabwe’s Malcolm Waller (23rd), Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh (25th), the Netherlands duo of Stephan Myburgh and Wesley Barresi in 27th and 36th respectively, Kyle Coetzer of Scotland (37th), Paul Stirling of Ireland (38th), Hong Kong’s Babar Hayat (39th), Ireland captain William Porterfield (40th), Richard Berrington of Scotland (42nd), the Netherlands captain Peter Borren (45th) and Zimbabwe’s Elton Chigumbura (47th).

 In the absence of Zimbabwe’s fifth-ranked Graeme Creamer, Afghanistan’s seventh-ranked Dawlat Zadran is the highest-ranked bowler from the eight sides. He is followed by the Bangladesh pair of Shakib (ninth) and Al-Amin Hossain (15th), Mudassar Bukhari of Netherlands (17th), George Dockrell of Ireland (20th), Mohammad Nabi of Afghanistan (21st), 28th-ranked Mustafizur Rahman of Bangladesh, Timm van der Gugten of the Netherlands (29th), Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien (32nd), Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza (33rd), Hong Kong’s Nadeem Ahmad (39th), Hamza Hotak of Afghanistan (41st) and Zimbabwe’s Sean Williams (46th).

 Bangladesh’s Shakib trails number-one ranked Watson by just one point in the all-rounders’ category, while Afghanistan’s Nabi is just outside the top 10 in 11th position.

 Although India seems to be the in-form side and the team to beat in the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016, the fact of the matter is that neither has any side won the ICC World Twenty20 twice nor has any home side lifted the silverware in front of its home crowd. Whether this will change come 3 April, only time will tell!

 While the team rankings will be updated after each match, the player rankings will not be updated after the conclusion of second-round matches on 28 March.

 

The T20I predictor function is available here.

 

MRF Tyres ICC T20I Rankings (as on 7 March, after the Asia Cup final and second T20I between South Africa and Australia)

 Rank   Team              Points

1.      India                127

2.      West Indies     118

3.      South Africa   118

4.      New Zealand  116

5.      England           112

6.      Australia          111

7.      Pakistan           110

8.      Sri Lanka         109

9.      Afghanistan    77

10.  Bangladesh     74

11.  Scotland          69

12.  Netherlands     59

13.  Zimbabwe       54

14.  Hong Kong     49

15.  Ireland             48

16.  UAE                38

17.  Oman              32

 (Developed by David Kendix)

 MRF Tyres ICC T20I Player Rankings (as on 7 March, after the Asia Cup final and second T20I between South Africa and Australia)

 Batsmen (top 25)

 

Rank      (+/-)        Player                   Team     Pts          Avge      S/Rate    HS Rating

1           ( – )          Aaron Finch          Aus         858         39.82     153         892 v Ban at Mirpur 2014

2           ( – )          Virat Kohli            Ind          834         52.61     133         897 v Eng at Edgbaston 2014

3           (+1)         Faf du Plessis        SA           797         41.29     136         843 v Ban at Mirpur 2015

4           (-1)          Alex Hales            Eng         786         33.94     135         866 v Ind at Edgbaston 2014

5           ( – )          Martin Guptill       NZ          741         34.70     130         793 v SA at Hamilton 2012

6           ( – )          Kane Williamson NZ          733         36.69     128         737 v Pak at Hamilton 2016

7           ( – )          Chris Gayle           WI          703         35.15     143         831 v Aus at Colombo (RPS) 2012

8           ( – )          H. Masakadza     Zim         699!       31.42     120         699 v Ban at Khulna 2016

9           (+8)         David Warner       Aus         669         29.47     141         826 v WI at St Lucia 2010

10         ( – )          Eoin Morgan        Eng         666         30.29     133         872 v Ind at Old Trafford 2011

11         (+5)         Rohit Sharma       Ind          653         32.54     129         681 v Ban at Mirpur 2016

12         (-3)          M. Shahzad          Afg         649         29.35     136         681 v Zim at Sharjah 2016

13         (-4)          Shane Watson      Aus         639         28.17     145         832 v SA at Colombo (RPS) 2012

14         (+3)         T. Dilshan              SL           634         28.24     120         802 v NZ at Colombo (RPS) 2009

15         (-3)          JP Duminy            SA           624         36.51     122         713 v NZ at Chittagong 2014

16         (-5)          Suresh Raina        Ind          619         31.40     133         776 v Eng at Kolkata 2011

17         (+1)         Umar Akmal        Pak         606         27.30     123         709 v Zim at Harare 2011

18         (-4)          Kusal Perera         SL           589*      27.09     133         751 v SA at Chittagong 2014

19         ( – )          Marlon Samuels  WI          582         28.84     122         723 v Ban at Mirpur 2012

20         (+44)      Sabbir Rahman   Ban        574*!    32.64     119         574 v Ind at Mirpur 2016

21         (+2)         Hashim Amla       SA           567         27.27     126         611 v Ind at Mirpur 2014

22         (-1)          Yuvraj Singh        Ind          566         30.91     139         793 v SA at St Lucia 2010

23         ( – )          Malcolm Waller   Zim         545*!    29.18     154         545 v Ban at Khulna 2016

24         (+4)         Quinton de Kock SA           544*      28.20     123         573 v Ban at Mirpur 2015

25         (-3)          Shakib Al Hasan Ban        543         23.19     122         618 v Pak at Mirpur 2015

 

Bowlers (top 25)

 

Rank      (+/-)        Player   Team     Pts          Avge      Eco.        HS Rating Ranking

1           ( – )          Sunil Narine          WI          773         17.75     5.69       817 v Pak at St. Vincent 2013

2           ( – )          R. Ashwin              Ind          740         21.56     6.84       765 v SL at Visakhapatnam 2016

3           (+4)         Imran Tahir          SA           712         15.42     6.58       729 v Aus at Durban 2016

4           ( – )          Shahid Afridi        Pak         673         24.11     6.57       814 v SL at Colombo (RPS) 2009

5           ( – )          Graeme Cremer   Zim         669!       16.59     6.72       669 v Ban at Khulna 2016

6           ( – )          M. McClenaghan NZ          643!       25.80     7.68       643 v Pak at Wellington 2016

7           (+1)         Dawlat Zadran     Afg         633         19.33     7.25       636 v Zim at Sharjah 2016

8           (+21)      David Wiese         SA           626*!    17.39     7.36       626 v Aus at Johannesburg 2016

9           (+1)         Shakib Al Hasan Ban        625         21.01     6.68       672 v Pak at Mirpur 2014

10         (-7)          S. Senanayake     SL           623         19.33     6.35       712 v Eng at The Oval 2014

11         (-2)          Ravindra Jadeja  Ind          622         30.24     7.02       651 v Pak at Mirpur 2016

12         (+14)      Kyle Abbott          SA           615*      24.00     7.83       628 v Aus at Durban 2016

13=       (+2)         N. Kulasekara      SL           613         22.18     7.16       676 v Aus at Melbourne 2013

( – )          Adam Milne         NZ          613*!    20.83     7.35       613 v Pak at Wellington 2016

15         (+17)      Al-Amin Hossain Ban        612*!    14.09     7.12       612 v Ind at Mirpur 2016

16         (-5)          Mitchell Starc       Aus         596         19.53     6.72       702 v Pak at Dubai 2014

17         (-3)          M. Bukhari           Net          593         17.30     6.62       616 v NEP at Amstelveen 2015

18         (-6)          Lasith Malinga     SL           582         20.28     7.26       684 v WI at Colombo (RPS) 2015

19         (-2)          N. McCullum        NZ          580         22.85     6.90       709 v Zim at Harare 2011

20         (-5)          George Dockrell   Ire           578         16.02     6.31       668 v Zim at Sylhet 2014

21         (-2)          Mohammad Nabi               Afg         575!       27.48     7.07       575 v HK at Mirpur 2016

22         (-2)          Ahsan Jamil          Net          564         14.65     7.33       616 v NEP at Rotterdam 2015

23         (+104)    M. Naveed            UAE       557*!    16.00     5.77       557 v Ind at Mirpur 2016

24         (-6)          Pat Cummins       Aus         551*      18.80     6.69       610 v Eng at Cardiff 2015

25         (+2)         Angelo Mathews  SL           550         27.60     6.64       645 v SA at Colombo (RPS) 2013

 

All-rounders (top 10)

 

Rank      (+/-)        Player                   Team     Pts          Highest Ranking

1           ( – )          Shane Watson      Aus         340        557 v SA at Colombo (RPS) 2012

2           ( – )          Shakib Al Hasan Ban        339        408 v Pak at Mirpur 2015

3           ( – )          Shahid Afridi        Pak         319        413 v NZ at Dubai 2009

4           ( – )          M. Hafeez             Pak         285        441 v SL at Dubai 2013

5           ( – )          Marlon Samuels  WI          282        321 v SL at Mirpur 2014

6           (+1)         Yuvraj Singh        Ind          279        363 v Aus at Rajkot 2013

7           (+6)         Glenn Maxwell     Aus         276*/*! 276 v SA at Johannesburg 2016

8           ( – )          Angelo Mathews  SL           255        289 v NZ at New Plymouth 2016

9           ( – )          Dwayne Bravo     WI          247        255 v NZ at Auckland 2014

10         (-4)          JP Duminy            SA           245 /*   276 v Ban at Mirpur 2015

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

 Essential media information on the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 can be found here.

 

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