World Cup boost: WI jump to 4th in T20 rankings

West Indies players and coaches gather in prayer during a team training session, on May 29, at UWI-Spec, 
St Augustine. The West Indies play Papua New Guinea in their first match of the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup on May 2.  - AYANNA KINSALE
West Indies players and coaches gather in prayer during a team training session, on May 29, at UWI-Spec, St Augustine. The West Indies play Papua New Guinea in their first match of the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup on May 2. - AYANNA KINSALE

MERE days before the start of the June 1-29 International Cricket Council (ICC) men's Twenty/20 World Cup, West Indies got a confidence boost when they jumped from sixth to fourth in the standings on May 29.

Two-time T20 World Cup champions, the Windies warmed up for the World Cup with a comprehensive 3-0 T20 series win against South Africa from May 23-26 at Sabina Park in Jamaica. Both teams were missing several key players due to a combination of Indian Premier League (IPL) commitments and rest, but the Daren Sammy-coached Windies team showed they didn't skip a beat and they put in a near flawless effort against the "Proteas."

India head the T20 rankings with 264 rating points, and they are closely followed by the last two T20 World Cup winners Australia (257 rating points) and England (254 rating points) who are second and third respectively. Australia copped the 2021 T20 World Cup title, while the English lifted the 2022 crown. The Caribbean team are next on the standings with 252 rating points.

The Australian and English teams will have the chance to settle their score when they contest their group B match at the World Cup on June 8 at Kensington Oval, Barbados.

West Indies' group C opponents for the World Cup, New Zealand, are fifth on the standings with 250 points. The Proteas' series loss in Jamaica affected their position and they dropped three spots to seventh and now have 244 rating points.

At the last two editions of the T20 World Cup, the Windies had unsatisfactory returns and they failed to advance to the knockout phase of either tourney – crashing out at the qualifying phase of the 2022 edition after losses to Ireland and Scotland.

In 2023, though, the Windies won three successive T20 series against South Africa, India and reigning world champions England, before getting their latest series win against the Proteas without standout players such as Andre Russell, Nicholas Pooran and captain Rovman Powell.

Powell's Jamaican countryman Brandon King captained the team for the South Africa series, and he starred in his brief role at the helm as he scored 159 runs in the series, including a match-winning knock of 79 in the first encounter. King climbed five spots to eighth in the T20 batting rankings. Opening batsman Johnson Charles, who won the Man of the Match in the final T20, climbed 17 spots and now sits at 20th. Pooran is tied at 18th spot.

Meanwhile, in the bowling department, left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein slipped five spots and is now ranked eighth. Indian batsman Suryakumar Yadav heads the batting rankings, with English leg-spinner Adil Rashid spearheading the bowling rankings.

The Windies will open their World Cup campaign on June 2 versus Papua New Guinea in Guyana.

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"World Cup boost: WI jump to 4th in T20 rankings"

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