Players eye rankings with ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in mind



Several leading players go into the upcoming Asia Cup aiming to not only consolidate their positions in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings but also to use the multi-nation tournament in preparation for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.


With five of the six teams in the Asia Cup to feature in next year’s mega event, the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Shakib Al Hasan and Babar Azam are excited at the prospect of being pitted against the best of the region in the 15-28 September tournament in the United Arab Emirates.


The Asia Cup commences with a match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Dubai on Saturday. Afghanistan, qualifiers Hong Kong, India and Pakistan get into action later as they try to qualify for the Super Four stage and get more tournament practice with just eight months to go for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July.


India fast bowler Bumrah, who has a lead of 20 points over Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, is looking to maintain his top position while Pakistan batsman Babar is hoping to bridge the big gap with Virat Kohli, who is not playing in this tournament. Similarly, Bangladesh’s Shakib is aiming to be at his best and show everyone why he is top-ranked among all-rounders.


Several openers who figure prominently in the rankings will be seen in action, including the India pair of Rohit Sharma (fourth) and Shikhar Dhawan (ninth), Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal (12th) and Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman (16th).


Among bowlers, Pakistan’s Hasan Ali is looking to claw his way back two spots to number one, while India spinners Kuldeep Yadav (sixth) and Yuzvendra Chahal (joint-ninth) are the others in the top 10.


In the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings, India are the top-ranked side in the tournament. They are presently second with 121 points, six points behind England, while Pakistan are in fifth position and 104 points.


India, Pakistan and Hong Kong are in Group A while Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka form Group B for the preliminary stage. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Super Fours with the top two sides from there making the final.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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