REUTERS - England will climb to the top of the one-day international (ODI) cricket world rankings if they can maintain their fine form in the format, all-rounder Ben Stokes said after the side completed a series victory in Bangladesh.
Stokes played a key role with an unbeaten 47 as England won the deciding third match against the hosts in Chittagong on Wednesday to wrap up a third successive one-day series triumph, having beaten Sri Lanka and Pakistan at home earlier this year.
England are currently fifth in the ODI rankings, behind Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and India.
“It’s really exciting. If we carry on like this we’ll achieve our target of being world number one,” Stokes, who was named the man of the series, told Sky Sports.
England’s loss to Bangladesh in Adelaide, which knocked them out of the 2015 ODI World Cup, spurred a string of changes to the national team set-up and Stokes felt the squad are starting to yield the dividends of the strategy.
“The team we have had together for the last 18 months have been playing unbelievable cricket,” the 25-year-old added.
With skipper Eoin Morgan sitting out the Bangladesh series over security concerns, wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler was tasked with leading a young and inexperienced squad against a side that had won their six previous home ODI series.
“Me and Jos work quite well. We’re quite aggressive in how we want to play our cricket, not just with the bat and the ball, but with field placings,” Stokes, who was vice-captain for the series, said.
Morgan and influential opening batsman Alex Hales are expected to return to the squad when England travel to India for their next three-match ODI series in January.s
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien