Cape Town – Ironically at roughly the same time as they were
trounced by Pakistan in a warm-up to the imminent ICC Champions Trophy, South
Africa have climbed a notch in the ICC one-day international rankings.
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commentary on Thursday.
Of course the contrived friendly at The Oval on Monday,
where the teams were allowed to make use of more than the standard 11 players,
had no effect on the ladder, and the Proteas have made their gain from fourth
to third because of England’s surprise slide to a 0-2 situation in their
three-match home series with New Zealand.
It has seen the host nation for the eight-team tournament,
which begins on Thursday, crash from second to fourth for the time being.
Should the seventh-ranked Black Caps complete a momentous
clean sweep in the final fixture at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, AB de Villiers’s
team will be assured of staying third going into the Champions Trophy.
India head the ladder with 119 rating points, followed by
Australia with 116, South Africa with 113 and then the seemingly receding
England – many pundits are hastily revising their suggestion of the home side
as tourney favourites – on 112.
The Proteas open the event against the Indians, who despite
their rankings supremacy tend to be more effective on the Subcontinent than
anywhere else, at Cardiff on Thursday (11:30 SA time) before tackling Pakistan
again in much more serious combat on Monday at Edgbaston and then completing
their Group B obligations against West Indies back in Cardiff next Friday.
Pakistan are sixth on the rankings with West Indies eighth.
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