Dubai: India and England have retained their top positions in the team rankings for Tests and ODIs, respectively, after the annual update in which series results from 2015-16 are removed, and outcomes from 2016-17 and 2017-18 are weighted at 50 per cent.
India's lead over New Zealand in the ICC Test Team Rankings has narrowed from eight to two points and England remain at the top of the ICC ODI Team Rankings with their gap over India reduced to just two points in an expanded table.
In the Test rankings, India were on 116 points and New Zealand on 108 before the update. But India's 3-0 win over South Africa and 2-1 win in Sri Lanka being purged as part of the 2015-16 season sees them losing three points while New Zealand's two 2-0 defeats to Australia being removed sees them gain three points.
In the only change of positions on the table, England have overtaken Australia to fourth position and are on 105 points. Australia are on 98 points after dropping six points as they had won four of the five series in 2015-16, no more part of the calculations. In another significant movement, the gap between seventh-placed Pakistan and eighth-placed West Indies has trimmed from 11 to two points.
In the ODI rankings, England have retained the No. 1 ranking but to go into the World Cup as the top-ranked side, they will need to beat Ireland in an upcoming one-off ODI and then beat Pakistan 3-2 or better in a home series, or lose to Ireland but then beat Pakistan 4-1 or better.
South Africa have overtaken New Zealand at the third spot while another change in positions sees the West Indies moving ahead of Sri Lanka to seventh place. No team has dropped out of the top 10, thus ensuring that the World Cup will see the 10 top-ranked sides in action.
Three of the four teams awarded ODI status at the end of the World Cricket League Division 2 will join the rankings once they have played the requisite eight qualifying matches. However, PNG join the rankings immediately having played several ODIs prior to April 2018. The Netherlands, who already had ODI status, will need to play two more ODIs to achieve a ranking.
The annual update for the ICC Men's T20I Team Rankings will be made on May 3.