India are once again the ICC number-one ranked ODI team following wins over England and Australia’s surprise loss to Zimbabwe on Sunday.
Ms Dhoni’s side have returned to top spot for the first time since January, whilst the
Australians dropped three places to fourth after their shock three-wicket defeat in the triangular series in Africa.
Meanwhile, England find themselves in fifth place after the latest rankings were released.
After capitulating in the latter half of their Test series against England, India have bounced back with some convincing victories in the limited-overs matches that have followed.
A 133-run win in Cardiff and a six-wicket triumph at Trent Bridge have elevated India above Australia, who they were previously tied with on rankings points.
The last time that India topped the standings they failed to register a single victory on a tour of New Zealand, although they did manage to tie a game in Auckland back at the
beginning of the year.
India still have two more One Day Internationals to play on their tour of England, and victories in both of those encounters will help them sustain their place at the summit.
Plenty to play for
But the reining world champions could be usurped by South Africa, if the Proteas can twice defeat the Australians in their ongoing triangular series. With one group game remaining,and the potential of a final between the two sides next weekend, two wins would put AB de Villiers’ side top of the pile, regardless of other results.
Depending on results, Australia could also return to top spot. If they can produce consecutive wins over the South Africans – and India lose a match to England – then they have the potential to reclaim the crown.
With the World Cup less than half a year away now, all sides will be looking to get a
psychological edge over their rivals by rising as high up the rankings as possible.
Whilst India, Australia, Sri Lanka and South Africa battle it out for the honour of being the top ranked one-day side in world cricket, England are currently plodding along as the fifth-best nation.
Sitting with comfortable gaps to Australia (fourth) and Pakistan (sixth) it will be interesting to see if fifth is a suitable ranking for Alastair Cook’s men when they take to the field at next year’s World Cup.
But before they embark on the tournament down under, they have plenty of tough opposition to compete against.
A limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka is in store for the end of 2014 before a triangular series with India and Australia in the new year will provide a stern assessment before their first match of the competition comes against the co-hosts on February 14.