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Power Ranking the Cricket Nations Before World T20 Begins in Bangladesh

Richard MorganContributor IMarch 12, 2014

Power Ranking the Cricket Nations Before World T20 Begins in Bangladesh

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    With the 2014 International Cricket Council World Twenty20 (T20) set to get under way in Bangladesh on Sunday, it is time to examine just which countries are in form and which are not as we enter the global showpiece event.

    And so as in January, we have once again ranked the cricket nations on the eve of the tournament, with the main criteria being: If two nations were to meet both home and away today, just who would come out on top?

10 (Jan Position: 10): Zimbabwe

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    Hannah Peters/Getty Images

    Current ICC ranking: 14th (46 points)

    Last series played: Lost 0-2 (2) at home to Pakistan in August 2013 and drew 1-1 (2) at home to Bangladesh in May 2013

    Next assignment: World T20

    Brendan Taylor’s team face a tough task to even make it into the competition proper, coming up against the likes of Ireland, Netherlands and United Arab Emirates (UAE) in their Group B qualifiers.

9 (9): Bangladesh

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    A.M. Ahad/Associated Press

    Current ICC ranking: 10th (70 points)

    Last series played: Lost 2-0 (2) at home to Sri Lanka in February 2014

    Next assignment: World T20

    The hosts will be expected to see off the challenge of Afghanistan, Nepal and Hong Kong in their upcoming Group A qualifiers, ahead of Group 2 contests with the holders West Indies and subcontinental rivals India and Pakistan.

8 (7): England

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    Ricardo Mazalan/Associated Press

    Current ICC ranking: Eighth (103 points)

    Last series played: Currently taking part in a three-match series in West Indies

    Next assignment: World T20

    It seems a long time ago now that England were both world champions and the number one ranked side in the world in this form of the game.

    In stark contrast, Stuart Broad (fitness permitting) will lead a team into the World Cup that were whitewashed 3-0 in Australia at the start of the year and as a result looking desperately short of confidence.

7 (8): West Indies

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    Ricardo Mazalan/Associated Press

    Current ICC ranking: Fifth (113 points)

    Last series played: Currently taking part in a three-match series at home to England

    Next assignment: World T20

    The world champions should never be underestimated given the plethora of match winners that they have at their disposal and while they did lose 2-0 in New Zealand in January, on their day the Calypso Kings are capable of beating anyone.

6 (5): New Zealand

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    Phil Walter/Getty Images

    Current ICC ranking: Seventh (108 points)

    Last series played: Beat West Indies 2-0 (2) at home in January 2014, lost 1-0 (2) at home to Sri Lanka in November 2013 and won 1-0 (1) in Bangladesh in November 2013

    Next assignment: World T20

    One of the form teams of the year so far in all formats of the game and as ever, it is a dangerous game to write off the Black Caps, especially when a certain Brendon McCullum is in their lineup.

5 (3): Pakistan

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    A.M. Ahad/Associated Press

    Current ICC ranking: Fourth (121 points)

    Last series played: Drew 1-1 (2) at home to Sri Lanka in December 2013, beat Afghanistan 1-0 (1) at home in December 2013, drew 1-1 (2) in South Africa in November 2013 and lost 0-2 (2) at home to South Africa in November 2013

    Next assignment: World T20

    Mohammad Hafeez and Co. have been the busiest of any team over the course of the past six months when it comes to this shorter form of the game.

    And Pakistan being the team that they are, there have been bits of magic mixed in with moments of madness, making them an extremely unpredictable but dangerous unit as we head into a tournament that they won back in England five years ago.

4 (6): Australia

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    Andy Brownbill/Associated Press

    Current ICC ranking: Sixth (110 points)

    Last series played: Currently taking part in a three-match series in South Africa

    Next assignment: World T20

    Amazingly, this is the only global competition that the Aussies have never got their hands on and truth be told, their displays during the four previous World Cups have just not been good enough to warrant victory.

    However, since new coach Darren Lehmann took charge of the team last summer, Australia have appeared revitalised, and they have since won four of their five T20s played under his watch home and away to England, while losing a one-off clash in India last October.

3 (2): South Africa

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    Gallo Images/Getty Images

    Current ICC ranking: Third (123 points)

    Last series played: Currently taking part in a three-match series at home to Australia

    Next assignment: World T20

    The Proteas performed well in their two back-to-back series with Pakistan last November, winning 2-0 in UAE before then drawing 1-1 at home. Again, Faf du Plessis’ side are one of a number of nations looking to win this competition for the very first time in Bangladesh.

2 (4): Sri Lanka

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    A.M. Ahad/Associated Press

    Current ICC ranking: First (129 points)

    Last series played: Won 2-0 (2) in Bangladesh in February 2014, 1-1 (2) in Pakistan in December 2013 and won 1-0 (2) in New Zealand in November 2013

    Next assignment: World T20

    It has been an excellent past few months for Sri Lanka in T20 cricket, although failure to win in UAE just before Christmas has ultimately cost Dinesh Chandimal’s men top spot in the rankings.

1 (1): India

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    Phil Walter/Getty Images

    Current ICC ranking: Second (123 points)

    Last series played: Beat Australia 1-0 (1) at home in October 2013

    Next assignment: World T20

    Oddly for the country that brought us the Indian Premier League, their national team has been fairly redundant of late when it comes to the business of international T20s, with MS Dhoni’s team having just beaten Australia back in October in their only fixture during the last 12 months.

    However, by virtue of entering the tournament with a 100 percent record in this shorter form of the game, India are currently ranked the world’s best T20 side as they look to become the first two-time winners of the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh.

Honourable Mentions

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    A.M. Ahad/Associated Press

    The six remaining participating nations in the World Cup are Afghanistan (world ranking of 11), Nepal, Hong Kong, Ireland (nine), Netherlands (12) and UAE, however, due to a lack of consistent international T20 activity over the course of the past 12 months, they have not been included in these newly published rankings.

     

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