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India drop to fifth spot in ODI rankings


World champions India have dropped to the fifth position in the Reliance ICC ODI Championship table after England won the five-match ODI series 3-0 on Friday.

It is Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side’s lowest ranking since October 2008 when it spent three months at the number-five position. The slide in the ODI rankings sums up a disappointing summer for India in England where it also slipped from the number-one position in the Reliance ICC Test Championship to third spot after losing all the four Tests.

India had entered the series in the third position on 117 ratings points and finished on 112 ratings points after it lost the second, third and fifth ODIs while the first ODI at Chester-le-Street was washed-out and the fourth at Lord’s ended in a tie.

In fact, India had slipped to fourth position after the third ODI at The Oval where it went down by three wickets (according to Duckworth-Lewis method) and then slipped further behind after defeat in another rain-reduced match in Cardiff on Friday.

In contrast, England have gained a place and have moved to the fourth spot. England, who remained unbeaten in the series, earned six ratings points which left it a point ahead of India and three behind third-ranked South Africa.

However, India will have a chance to not only reclaim lost ground but potentially move into the second spot with a good show in the five-match ODI series against England which starts at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on 14 October. 

Meanwhile, Pakistan have gained one ratings point for their 3-0 win against Zimbabwe. However, there is no change in their ranking as they stay in the sixth position – 11 points behind India and as many ahead of seventh-ranked New Zealand.

Australia still lead the rankings with 130 points while Sri Lanka follow in the second spot with 119 points. 

The Reliance ICC ODI player rankings will be released on Sunday.

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Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Gambhir out of entire WI tour

India's already-depleted squad for the tour of the West Indies has suffered further setbacks: shoulder injuries to Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh's respiratory infection, and Sachin Tendulkar's wish to spend time with his family have ruled the four players out of the whole trip. This will be the first instance of Tendulkar missing an entire Test series since he sat out India's previous full tour of the Caribbean in 2006. Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara lost the chance to cement his place in the Test side as a knee injury picked up in the IPL made him unavailable.


Expectedly, a number of uncapped players and those trying to make comebacks got their chance. Suresh Raina got a second chance at ODI captaincy in Gambhir's absence (MS Dhoni was rested for the limited-overs leg of the tour), and Manoj Tiwary and Shikhar Dhawan got a chance to add to their one ODI cap each. S Badrinath made a Test comeback, but the bigger news remained the uncapped players in the Test squad: Virat Kohli and Abhinav Mukund, who is almost certain to open with his Tamil Nadu team-mate M Vijay.

Mukund, a 21-year-old left-hand batsman, has impressive first-class numbers to back him: an average close to 60 over 40 matches and 13 centuries, including a triple-ton. Vijay has been an automatic choice as Test opener every time either Gambhir or Sehwag is unavailable. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman provide the experience in the middle order, which leaves Kohli, Raina and Badrinath fighting for the two remaining slots.

Jaidev Unadkat and Umesh Yadav, who were picked inexplicably ahead of Abhimanyu Mithun for the South Africa tour, got the boot, making way for Munaf Patel and an extra spinner in Amit Mishra. Pragyan Ojha, who was part of India's Test squad to South Africa but missed all ODI cricket since, returned too. Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma and Harbhajan Singh, though, remained the likely first-choice attack.

Parthiv Patel replaced Wriddhiman Saha as Dhoni's wicketkeeping cover in the Test squad, not least because he can open the innings should Mukund struggle or should the team management not consider him ready to debut.


As expected, the selection meeting in Chennai, attended by the new coach Duncan Fletcher, was a long affair lasting more than two hours. Kris Srikkanth, the chairman of selectors, said that Fletcher's "intelligent inputs" were utilised completely in picking the "best" available team.

The timing of the Test selection is surprisingly early: the first Test begins on June 20, and the selectors could have waited longer to see if any of the injuries or illnesses could have neared healing. The long recovery period associated with the injuries to Sehwag and Gambhir would have been a factor. And because of the pneumonitis in his left lung, we will never know if Yuvraj would have been considered for a Test comeback, on the back of his World Cup heroics.

In all, India are without Tendulkar, Dhoni, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Zaheer, Gambhir and Ashish Nehra for the ODIs. They will also have to do without Tendulkar, Sehwag, Gambhir and Pujara for the Tests.

Test squad: MS Dhoni (capt), VVS Laxman (vc), M Vijay, Abhinav Mukund, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, S Badrinath, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Sreesanth, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel.

Limited-overs squad: Suresh Raina (capt), R Ashwin, S Badrinath, Harbhajan Singh (vc), Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel, Parthiv Patel (wk), Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Manoj Tiwary, Shikhar Dhawan

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