After losing 13 of their last 15 completed ODIs, the Australian men’s cricket side has slipped to a 34-year low in the ICC rankings.
After their recent loss to England in the second ODI to go 2-0 down in the five-match series, Australia have dropped down to their lowest ICC ODI ranking in the last 34 years, according to cricket.com.au.
Bedevilled with controversy following the ‘Sandpapergate’ scandal at Newlands – and with two key batsman serving year-long bans – the Australian side now found themselves in sixth place in the rankings. In order to leapfrog Pakistan to claim back the fifth position, Australia must win at least one of the three games left in the series against England. Australia currently sits above Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the rankings, which is not where the defending World Cup champions were expecting to be leading up to the defense of their title.
According to cricket.com.au, the last time Australia found themselves in sixth position was back in January 1984, when the West Indies toured Australia and thrashed their hosts comprehensively, including winning the Benson & Hedges World Series Cup. In that tournament, Australia beat a weakened Pakistan side in all their matches, yet the hosts only managed a single win over the mighty West Indies.
That single victory against the West Indies was in Perth in their last meeting before the best-of-three finals. The West Indies rested some players for the match and the star performer for the Aussies was South African-born Kepler Wessels, who scored 50 and then took two wickets, both of which were the West Indies’ top scorers in the innings.
In the finals, the West Indies trounced Australia by nine wickets (17 balls remaining) in the first match, tied the second match, then won the third match by six wickets (with 27 balls remaining). In the tied match Wessels was again Australia’s key player, top-scoring with 77 and taking 2-29, including the key wickets of the master-blaster, Viv Richards (59), and West Indies captain Clive Lloyd (11).
Since beating Pakistan in the 2017 home series, they have since lost three series to New Zealand, India and England, in addition to being dumped out in the group stages of the Champions Trophy.
Source: ICC – Last updated – 17 Jun 2018: Developed by David Kendix
Photo: Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images