India surge to number one position in ICC ODI rankings

India surge to number one position in ICC ODI rankings

What's the story?

Following their 5-wicket victory against Australia at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, India not only took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the 5-match series but also surged to the top of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) official rankings. In doing so, Virat Kohli's troops have become the first ever Indian team to reach the number one position in both Test and ODI rankings (since its inception).

Unlike in Tests wherein they refurbish the rankings at the end of every series, ICC update the ODI and T20I rankings after every match. By virtue of their series-sealing triumph against the Aussies, Kohli's team have jumped to 120 rating points and displaced South Africa (119 rating points) at the top of the ODI rankings.

On the other hand, Australia's downward slide continued. With 114 rating points, they hold on to their third spot for now by a solitary point. If England win the ongoing match as well as the remaining games against West Indies, they will move ahead of their arch-rivals.

The Background

India are currently on a nine-game winning streak in ODIs. After sealing the series 3-1 with an 8-wicket win against West Indies at Kingston in July, the 'Men in Blue' became the first team to whitewash Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. Kohli's side followed their 5-0 triumph in the island nation with a dominant showing against the visiting Australians.

The heart of the matter

Here are the complete ODI rankings. The rankings below are accurate as of 24th September 2017 at the end of the 3rd ODI between India and Australia at Indore. The ongoing 3rd ODI between England and West Indies at Bristol is not taken into account.

Rank Team Matches Points Rating

1 India 48 5764 120

2 South Africa 50 5957 119

3 Australia 50 5709 114

4 England 51 5773 113

5 New Zealand 46 5123 111

6 Pakistan 41 3885 95

7 Bangladesh 31 2905 94

8 Sri Lanka 59 5088 86

9 West Indies 37 2887 78

10 Afghanistan 30 1618 54

11 Zimbabwe 41 2129 52

12 Ireland 25 1028 41

India can maintain their number one position in ODIs if they win one of the remaining two matches in the Australia series. While a 4-1 result will enable them to maintain their 120 rating points, a 5-0 clean sweep will propel them to 122 rating points.

Parallels from history

Until now, India have spent a total of 14 months at the top of the ODI rankings. Since the inception of the ICC rankings, they have attained the number one position on three different occasions.

Author's take

Achieving the number one spot in both Tests and ODIs requires sustained excellence and seamless transition between formats. Reaching the pinnacle in two of three formats stands as a testament to the Indian team's remarkable consistency in recent times.

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