It isn't particularly surprising that India are right on top, say M J Manohar Rao and Srinivas Bhogle, as they deserve to be after winning the World Cup.
It is a pleasure to revive the Rediff ODI Rankings. We had briefly gone off the radar because interest in ODI cricket was ebbing, and because these calculations are painful (the data gathering, not the number crunching).
We are back because it was a shock to see India still at second place (with 121 points) in the official ICC rankings, behind Australia (128).
If a thumping and convincing World Cup triumph still doesn't take you to the top, it is obviously a matter of some concern.
Of course this isn't new. Old-timers will recall how Ganguly's team was adjudged #8 after entering the 2003 WC final; Ganguly was amused, but didn't make an unnecessary fuss. (See ICC ODI ratings a joke!).
The trouble with ICC's ODI ranking is that it can't distinguish between big and small matches. In particular, it fails to reward exceptional tournament performance. Australia are sitting pretty at 128 because they thrashed a listless England 6-1 in an ODI series that England wished was never played.
The Rediff ODI ranking does better. 80% of the ranking is based on a weighted index (WI) that takes into account the 'home-away' factor and the strength of the opposition (the ICC ranking only considers the latter). The other 20% is a reward for winning tournaments or series (TI); in other words, the 'big' matches.
Table A shows the rankings at the end of the 2011 World Cup. And it isn't particularly surprising that India are right on top ... as they deserve to be after winning the World Cup.
|TABLE A: CURRENT ODI RANKINGS (as on Apr 5, 2011)|
WI * 0.80 + TI * 0.20
The corresponding Reliance Mobile ICC ODI rankings (as on April 5, 2011) are Australia (128), India (121), Sri Lanka (118), South Africa (116), England (105), Pakistan (103), New Zealand (94), West Indies (68), Bangladesh (68) and Zimbabwe (37).