New Delhi [India]: The race for the Numero Uno spot in ODIs is very much on less than a month ahead of the ICC World Cup, with three teams in the running to go top of the pile ahead of the cricketing showpiece.
With Australia’s loss to South Africa in the third ODI of the ongoing away series on Tuesday, India’s chances to reclaim the top spot in ODIs after March 22, this year, have gone up significantly.
Currently, Australia and Pakistan are tied at the top of the ICC ODI standings at 118 points, with India trailing closely in the second spot at 116 points.
Pakistan’s final Super Four match against Sri Lanka at the Asia Cup on Thursday will have a significant bearing on the former’s chances of holding on to the Numero Uno position in ODIs ahead of the World Cup.
Pakistan needs to beat Sri Lanka in the Super Four clash on Thusday to advance to the final of the Asia Cup against India.
A victory for the Men in Blue in the Asia Cup final would dent Pakistan’s hopes of holding on to the top spot.
Barring some 50-over practice matches against New Zealand and Australia going into the World Cup, which won’t be tagged as internationals, Pakistan won’t feature in any ODIs ahead of the showpiece event.
The ODI World Cup, to be hosted in India this year, will get underway from October 5.
Conversely, if Pakistan win the Asia Cup, they will remain the undisputed Number 1 in ODIs while India will slip further down the rankings ahead of the World Cup.
Despite losing tamely to South Africa in the third ODI on Tuesday, Australia is still in the running to be the top-ranked team before commencement of the World Cup.
Australia can reclaim the top spot in the ODI rankings if they win their final two games against the Proteas.
However, if the Baggy Greens lose their next two fixures against South Africa, they will drop out of the joint top spot in the ODIs to third in the rankings.
The three-match 50-over series between Australia and India at the end of this month will then have a significant bearing on which team takes the top spot in ODIs going into the World Cup.
India will play the most matches out the three teams vying for the No.1 spot ahead of the ODI World Cup.
For India to reclaim the No.1 spot, they have to lift the Asia Cup and hope Australia lose their remaining matches against the Proteas.
India’s upcoming three-match series against Pat Cummins-led Australia might be crucial in determining the No. 1 ranking spot going into the World Cup.