Pakistan, who are at the bottom of the ODI team table, are determined to secure direct qualification for the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England. Their quest will begin on Friday when they take on five-time World Cup winners and number-one ranked Australia in a five-ODI series in Brisbane
Pakistan, who won the World Cup in 1992 in Australia, is presently in serious danger of failing to qualify directly for the 50-over World Cup tournament in the United Kingdom as it is sitting in eighth position on 89 points – two behind Bangladesh and two ahead of the West Indies.
- Pakistan are currently ranked eighth in the world, two points ahead of West Indies
- England and the seven highest-ranked teams will qualify directly for 2019 World Cup
- Four bottom-ranked sides will be joined by six teams from ICC World Cricket League in ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018
Not only Pakistan, but India, under Virat Kohli, will be seeking to close the gap at the top of the rankings. India are currently third in the rankings and their mission to be in the top-three will begin in the three-match ODI series against England starting on January 15.
India can rise to as high as 114 points if it sweeps the series, but if the series result is reversed, then England can move up one place to fourth and India can slide to fifth.
Host England and the seven highest-ranked sides on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings as on 30 September 2017 will qualify directly for the event proper to be held from 30 May to 15 July 2019.
The four bottom-ranked sides will be joined by six teams from the ICC World Cricket League in the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 and the top two sides will complete the 10-team World Cup line-up.
To, at least, maintain its pre-series ranking points, Pakistan needs to win one match of the series, while victories in more than one match will earn it crucial points.
If Pakistan wins two matches, then it will join Bangladesh on 91 points but will be ranked behind its Asian rivals by a fraction. In the scenario of Pakistan winning the series, it will move ahead of Bangladesh and, as such, will enhance its chances of qualifying directly for the event it won in Australia in 1992.
On the other side of the coin, Australia will retain its pre-series points if it wins the series 4-1, while it will concede one point if it wins 3-2.
Australia can fall from the top pedestal but to make it happen, Pakistan will have to win by 4-1 or better. However, considering that Australia leads Pakistan 33-16 on a head-to-head in its backyard, including 15 wins in 19 ODIs this decade, this looks highly improbable.