No.6 Pakistan inch closer to 2019 World Cup direct entry
Dubai : The ICC Champions Trophy final win against India helped Pakistan vault to the No.6 spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) One-day International (ODI) rankings, thereby helping them to inch closer to securing a direct entry to the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.
The Green Brigade entered the just concluded eight-team Champions Trophy as the lowest-ranked team at No.8 but raised themselves from the ashes to emerge champions at The Oval on Sunday.
Pakistan has leapfrogged over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the latest ICC ODI rankings helping them to get closer to direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup, to which host England and the next seven highest-ranked sides as on September 30, will get straight entries.
Pakistan has gained four points to move to 95 points as their wins over higher-ranked opponents in the tournament included the one in the final against India and an eight-wicket semi-final victory over England.
After being thrashed by 124 runs in their tournament opener by India, the Sarfraz Ahmed-led team lifted themselves with fascinating victories against South Africa, Sri Lanka, and England before defeating traditional rivals India by 180 runs in the summit clash.
There were no other changes in the team's standings led by South Africa, although runners-up India, England and Bangladesh have all lost a point each.
The players' rankings saw India's Rohit Sharma, who scored an unbeaten 123 in the semi-final against Bangladesh, gaining three slots to share the No.10 position with his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan.
Pakistan's Babar Azam has rocketed to a career-best fifth position after gaining three positions with scores of 46 in the final and 30 not out in the semi-final.
Mohammad Hafeez has gained two slots to reach 20th rank while opener Azhar Ali has moved up 11 slots to 31st position.
India skipper Virat Kohli continued to top the ODI batsmen's list followed by Australia's David Warner, South Africa's AB de Villiers and England's Joe Root.
Rookie Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman's Player-of-the-Match effort of 114 in the final and 57 in the semi-final has helped him break into the top 100 after just four ODIs as he has gained 58 positions after these two performances to reach 97th rank.
Among the bowlers, India pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah took significant leaps in the ICC ODI bowlers' list led by Aussie Josh Hazlewood.
While Bhuvneshwar rose four places to share the 19th spot with Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, Bumrah vaulted 19 places to the No.24 spot.
Pakistan pacer Hassan Ali, who was named Player of the Tournament after finishing with 13 wickets including hauls of 3/19 in the final and 3/35 against England, has gained 12 positions to reach the No.7 position.
Mohammad Amir, who missed the semi-final due to a back spasm but picked up 3/16 in the final, has gained 16 slots to reach the 21st place while fellow left-armed Junaid Khan has moved up nine places to 47th position.