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Cricket's Balance of Power at a Glance

A tumultuous two years after the 2011 World Cup, India is No. 1 in ODIs, Australia is struggling to regroup and South Africa continue to reign in Tests


We looked beyond ICC rankings to assess where the top 8 teams stand on cricket’s power map. We considered clout and competence, and here’s what emerged.

Top Dogs

India

  • Reclaimed top spot in ODIs for the first time since 1995 after a power-packed show at the ICC Champions Trophy. Shifted focus from corruption charges plaguing the BCCI.
  • On a course correction after losing their way in 2011-12, particularly against England and Australia. Recovered lost ground on home turf against West Indies and Australia.

 
England

  • Relinquished top spot in Tests to South Africa following a home humbling, but boast a bowling attack that has them as favourites in the Ashes series.
  • Disappointing in the T20 format since winning the World T20 in 2010, dropping from 1st to 5th position.


South Africa

  • Easily the best Test side but flatter to deceive in the limited-overs format where they struggle to remove the ‘choker’ tag.
  • Powered by Dale Steyn, the world's best fast bowler. But overly reliant on him and Graeme Smith, their Test captain who no longer plays the shorter versions.

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Strugglers

Sri Lanka

  • Regressive peformances in both ODIs and Tests, dropping to 5th and 6th in the world, respectively. Ageing team has been key factor in decline.
  • Form away from home is iffy, bowling attack looks blunt.

 

Australia

  • Slipped to 3rd in ODIs and a woeful 7th in T20s. What would hurt them most is their decline in Tests where they are now 4th.
  • Michael Clarke and Shane Watson only players who can be counted on for brilliance.
 


West Indies

  • Winning the 2012 World T20 has catapulted them six places to 2nd in T20s.
  • Still struggle in Tests, but progress has been made.


Laggards
Pakistan

  • Up three places in T20s but languishing in Tests and ODIs.
  • Set back by turmoil at home and a fragile batting line-up.

 

New Zealand

  • Have been unable to shake off the plucky underdog status.
  • Held England to a win-less draw in recent home Test series but fell from 3rd to 8th in T20s.