MVP reset for three ODIs in South Africa - England’s first in over six months.

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The PCA’s ODI Most Valuable Player Rankings have been reset for the first time since England’s successful 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup campaign, as the Three Lions face South Africa at Newlands in the first fixture of a three-match series on Tuesday.

Eoin Morgan’s men will go into the fixture as 50-over world champions – the first side to be able to boast that claim in the history of English cricket. They will face a South Africa side similar to the one that they swept aside in the opening game of the World Cup, but who nevertheless sit fourth in the ICC ODI Rankings above the likes of Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

After the fixture in Cape Town on Tuesday, the series will move on to Durban on Friday, before the finale in Johannesburg on Sunday. The PCA will be keeping track of England’s top performers throughout the week with its purpose-built MVP Rankings system.

The algorithm, which was designed by the PCA in conjunction with the players, identifies the key influencers and match-winning performers within any given fixture. On top of traditional batting and bowling averages, bonus points are given, for example, for scoring quickly, claiming top-order wickets and taking catches in the field.

One England MVP is named for each format after both of the side’s summer and winter schedules, and there is also an Overall award which spans all three formats.

Chris Woakes, who is set to join Adil Rashid in earning his 100th ODI cap in Cape Town, was the last man to claim the ODI MVP, deservedly winning the award for his consistent performances throughout both the World Cup and the five-match ODI series against Pakistan that preceded it.

As England only competed in two Test Matches in New Zealand in November, and will do the same in Sri Lanka next month, the three ODIs against South Africa represent England’s only fixtures this winter in that format. We will therefore know the identity of Woakes’ successor for winter 2019/20 after the conclusion of the match in Johannesburg on Sunday.

England come into the series after two encouraging performances against a South Africa Invitational XI which saw England’s trusty openers hit centuries. Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow scored 975 runs between them in the World Cup and warmed-up in style ahead of the three game series.

With Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes rested, it gives the likes of white-ball contracted Joe Denly and uncapped Tom Banton the opportunity to impress with the bat. With the ball, Chris Jordan will be hoping to return to the 50-over side for the first time since September 2016 while Moeen Ali returns to England colours and will battle it out alongside Rashid and Matt Parkinson for the spinning options.

Another player aiming to make his mark is Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood. The seamer impressed for the Red Rose in 2019, so much so he ended the Royal London One-Day Cup as the PCA’s MVP in 50-over cricket and will be aiming to replicate his success on the international stage.

With one eye on the T20 World Cup in October, all white-ball cricket provides an opportunity to rise up the MVP Rankings and the thoughts of Morgan and the England selectors.

View the England MVP Rankings here.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.


PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings formula explained in 75 seconds...