ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Why India are best placed to win the trophy

India, currently ranked second in ICC team ODI rankings, dominate ICC player rankings with two batsmen and three bowlers among top 10; also, number 1 batsman and number 1 bowler are both from India

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

The much-awaited International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament, the men’s cricket World Cup 2019 (50-over) is scheduled to kick-start from May 30. The cricket world cup (CWC), hosted by England and Wales this time, will see 10 teams playing 47 league matches. Four teams would advance to the knockout stage where two semifinals will be played. The winners of the semis will meet in the final to decide the world champion. 

Days before the start of the 12th edition of CWC, we look at the ICC rankings for batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders, and estimate which teams will have the advantage going into the World Cup.

Check World Cup schedule here

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring 40th ODI hundred. Photo: @BCCI

According to the latest ICC batsmen ranking, India, New Zealand and South Africa have two players each in top 10 list, while England, Australia, Pakistan and West Indies have a player each. The India cricket team seems to have an advantage in the batting department, with the top two batsmen in the ICC rankings from the country — Virat Kohli (ranked first) and opener Rohit Sharma (second). New Zealand’s Ross Taylor is ranked third, while the only England player among top 10 is Joe Root (ranked 6th). 

However, if we were to widen the list from top 10 to top 20, England would find three of its other frontline batsmen making the list — Eoin Morgan (ranked 19th), Jos Butter (14th) and Jonny Bairstow (17th). By comparison, apart from Kohli and Sharma, India have only one player in top 20 — Shikhar Dhawan (13th). Talking of Australia, which recently returned to winning ways after a team overhaul, have only their skipper, Aaron Finch, in top 10 (ranked ninth). The only other Australian in top 20 is Finch’s opening partner Usman Khawaja (18th). At least three participating teams — Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan — have no representation in ICC’s top 10 batsmen list.

ICC ODI Rankings: Batsman (as of May 22, 2019) 

Rank Player Country Rating
1 Virat Kohli India 890
2 Rohit Sharma India 839
3 Ross Taylor New Zealand 830
4 Quinton de Kock South Africa 803
5 Faf du Plessis South Africa 801
6 Joe Root England 782
7 Babar Azam Pakistan 781
8 Martin Guptill New Zealand 750
9 Aaron Finch Australia 744
9 Shai Hope West Indies 744

Indian cricket team fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah during a practice session at MAC Stadium on the eve of the first ODI match against Australia, in Chennai. Photo: PTI
Indian cricket team fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah during a practice session at MAC Stadium on the eve of the first ODI match against Australia, in Chennai. Photo: PTI

Indians appear to be dominating the ICC rankings in the bowling department, too, with Jasprit Bumrah ranked first, Kuldeep Yadav seventh and Yuzvendra Chahal (eighth) in top 10. Afghanistan have two bowlers on the top 10 list — Rashid Khan (third) after Mujeeb Ur Rahman (ninth). New Zealand have Trent Boult (second) in top 10, while South Africa, regarded the best bowling unit in ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, have two players — Imran Tahir (fourth) and Kasigo Rabada (fifth). Australia have only Pat Cummins (sixth) in the list of top 10, while World Cup favorites England have Adil Rashid (ranked 10th). Again, three participating nations — Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan — have none of their players in the ICC list of top bowlers.

ICC ODI Rankings: Bowlers (as of May 22, 2019)

Rank Player name Country Rating
1 Jasprit Bumrah India 774
2 Trent Boult New Zealand 759
3 Rashid Khan Afghanistan 747
4 Imran Tahir South Africa 703
5 Kasigso Rabada South Africa 701
6 Pat Cummins Australia 694
7 Kuldeep Yadav India 689
8 Yuzuvendra Chahal India 680
9 Mujeeb Zadran Afghanistan 678
10 Adil Rashid England 671

How ICC rankings of players are calculated

Batsmen: The ranking of players depends not only on the number of runs scored by a batsman during a given period but also how and against whom those runs were scored. The rating of the opponent’s bowling attack is considered, so the higher the combined rating of the bowling team, the more will be the value of the runs scored against it by a batsman.

The batsmen who score quick runs gain a significant credit, while those who remain unbeaten in an innings get a small token credit, because a not-out batsman, by definition, is batting at the end of the innings when the value of his wicket is low.

The batsmen who score big in a winning cause receive a bonus, too. What’s more, such a bonus is higher if the runs have been scored against a highly rated opposition.

Bowlers: A bowler’s rating depends on wickets taken, runs conceded, and also the ratings of the batsmen who have been dismissed. The bowlers who take more wickets in a winning cause also receive a bonus — higher for highly rated oppositions. 

Bowlers gain significant credit for being economical — a bowler who bowls 10 overs and concedes only 10 runs will see his rating improving significantly, even if he went wicketless.

Players lose only half a per cent of their points for missing a match for their country. All ODI matches are considered equal, except ICC Cricket World Cup matches, where good performances gain extra players some extra credits. Big scores or wicket hauls against very weak nations get much less credit than the same performances against mainstream ODI teams.