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Old August 27, 2009, 02:32 AM
al Furqaan's Avatar
al Furqaan al Furqaan is offline
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Join Date: February 18, 2004
Location: New York City
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Default al Furqaan Cricket Power Rankings

the official rankings chart has a few shortcomings, IMO. i think i once read that a stronger team actually lost points despite whitewashing a weaker team. there is also no "bonus" for winning overseas matches/series. i've come up with a system which attempts to tackle those glitches, and without further ado, here it is. since there are no currently ongoing ODI series, i will debut the ODI rankings first, and then proceed with my Test rankings (yet to be created). as of now, i won't do one for garbage, err, T20 cricket...

ODI Power Rankings

1) India (100 points)

Has become the most dangerous side in the world after their 2007 World Cup humiliations. The absence of an all-conquoring OZ team has also helped, but that is outside of their control. They might not have the most impressive bowling attack, but their batting is far ahead of anyone else's (short ball weaknesses notwithstanding) and in the limited overs setup, that more than masks their inadequencies with the cherry, in my opinion.

2) South Africa (99 points)

A close second, and within striking range of India's top spot. They possess the fastest, if not the best bowling attack around - an accolade shared with the Aussies - and with the likes of Smith, Amla, Kallis, and de Villiers, they have a very steady batting core. The next two years before the world cup will be immensley exciting as we find out which teams are contenders, and which are mere pretenders.

3) Australia (90 points)

The three-time defending world champs seem to be falling in the ICC's official rankings continuously. Only time will tell where rock bottom is. Substantial talent is still there, and the under-fire Ricky Ponting still has several solid years and possibly some scoring records left under his belt. No matter how poor they might look compared to the legendary squad of the last decade, they're still one of the very best teams in the world.

4) Sri Lanka (88 points)

The past few years, Sri Lanka have worked hard to shed their title of "lions at home, lambs abroad." Perhaps the most inherently disciplined side in international cricket, their resilience so soon after nearly being killed by a terrorist attack in Lahore is nothing short of inspiring. A team full of classy and unorthodox players, much of their ODI success lies in the hands of speed demon, Lasith Malinga. With the ever-young Sanath Jayasuriya destroying opposing fast bowlers from the get go, Sri Lanka are the perennial dark horses, who always seem to exceed everyone's expectations. Nothing short of bringing a trophy back to Colombo in 2011 will be their ultimate aspiration.

5) England (85 points)

England are one of the two or three enigmatic teams in world cricket. Their accurate place can never be fully ascertained. World beaters one summer, they could turn up to be embarrassingly inept just a few months later. Still, given a recent 4-0 drubbing of the South Africans at home, and an Ashes win within the last week, puts them ranked surprisingly high. Don't be surprised to see this team jump all over my rankings list.

6) Pakistan (84 points)

If Sri Lanka are the epitomy of professionalism and good luck, Pakistan are the exact opposites. Like England, they are an extremely unpredictable side, going on to cruise to the 2009 T20 world championship last spring. However, several unresolved problems surrounding key figures such as Mohammad Yousuf and Mohammad Asif, and an inability to finalize the divorce with Shoaib Akhtar prevent a highly talented group from dominating the world scene. The fans will suffer as no team is likely to tour Pakistan for the next several years due to the increasingly deteriorating security situation. The emergence of Umar Akmal and Mohammad Aamir are perhaps their only bright spots at the moment.

7) New Zealand (80 points)

A good amount of young talent has come through, givin Kiwi fans some hope. With the return of Shane Bond to the fold, the future can only be brighter than the present. However, how effective Bond - one of the most destructive fast bowlers in recent times - will be at age 33 remains to be seen. Jesse Ryder and Mark Guptill provide some youthful zest in an otherwise flimsy batting order. Daniel Vettori remains one of the most underated spinners and shrewdest captains in the game. However, winning away from home has been a very difficult task for quite a long while now.

8) Bangladesh (50 points)

Test cricket's youngest member, has been improving steadily for the past several years. Consistency is still lacking, but perhaps just beginnng to peak through. Injury worries to pace spearhead Mashrafee bin Mortaza are ominous, but he should be back within a couple of months. The frustrating batting of Mohammad Ashraful is somewhat tempered by the promise of Tamim Iqbal and the productivity of Sakib al Hasan, the world's #1 ranked ODI all rounder. Several impressive, albeit low-profile, wins overseas should see the boys in high spirits, and that could spell trouble for India and Sri Lanka when they visit Bangladesh in December. Bangladesh are no longer a team that visiting Test teams can ignore completely, and that itself is proof of their improvements.

9) Zimbabwe (30 points)

The return of several "rebels" undoubtedly strengthens cricket in Zimbabwe, but so long as Robert Mugabe calls the shots, real development will be stunted. Nonetheless, the return of Brenden Taylor, Charles Coventry, Mark Vermulean, and Heath Streak as a coach are promising signs for this once-proud cricketing nation. A 5-0 thrashing of Kenya earlier in the year followed by a 4-1 embarrassment against Bangladesh at home, puts Zimbabwe in the unenviable position of being neither "here" nor "there."

10) West Indies (25 points)

As soon as the row between the WICB and the players' association is sovled, the Islanders will jump back to the 8th position in the ratings. The current rag-tag bunch lost 3-0 to Bangladesh last month, but managed to keep each of the games reasonably close. In addition, men like Kemar Roach, Darren Sammy, and perhaps Travis Dowlin too are good enough for the main XI. What remains to be seen is how this bunch fares in the Champions Trophy next month, given they now have a tad bit of experience to feed off of.

11) Ireland (20 points)

Winners of the 2009 World Cup Qualifying Tournament, the Irish are head and shoulders above anyone else in Associate cricket. The saddest travesty is that England steals many of their top players with the allure of Test cricket, and this is something the ICC needs to intervene. A big game against England looms in Storemont in just a few hours, and a win here will really boost the team's spirits.

12) Kenya (15 points)

The one time kings of Associate cricket have fallen on rough times. In recent times they've been beaten by pretty much any team with 11 players. Still, they manage to hang onto some semblence of Associate superiority, and cannot afford to fall any further. Seren Waters is a very promising prospect, all of 18 years of age and contrasts nicely with the grey beard, Steve Tikolo, one of the finest batsmen never to have played Test cricket.

13) Canada (13 points)

Having beaten the Kenyans at home emphatically, the Canadians continue to uphold their surprising 2nd place finish in the World Cup Qualifiers. No longer reliant on John Davison, the Canucks have built a solid core of younger more talented players which has upped their consistency, at least at Associate level.

14) Afghanistan (10 points)

The newest inclusion into official cricket, the pace of improvement in this team is simply unthinkable. From not even existing at the beginning of the millenium, to having ODI status, and finishing within one spot of a maiden World Cup berth, they are living the dream of dreams. Fan support is also not at all in short supply, as their facebook fan page will attest. Captain Nowroz Mangal and fast bowler Hamid Hasan are just two faces in a crowd of young, talented, and extremely hungry cricketers. They are a dangerous threat to each and every Associate team, and possibly even some of the established sides as well.

15) Netherlands (8 points)

Possessing a few quality players, the Dutch will be hard pressed to challenge any of the top sides in the world. However they can, and have in the past, continued to pose a serious threat to the ODI sides of the world. Dirk Nannes' call-up to the Australian side will be a serious loss, but opens up a spot for other players to showcase their abilities.

16) Scotland (5 points)

Just a few years ago, Scotland won the Intercontinental Cup, and vied with Kenya for the World Cricket League Division 1 title. But since then, they've stumbled and nearly missed out on retaining their ODI status in the World Cup qualifiers. Despite the setback, they managed to force a few favorable results, possibly due to the hunger of missing out on a World Cup they should have qualified for.
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Last edited by al Furqaan; August 27, 2009 at 06:24 PM..
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