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Australia put their number 1 ranking on the line at ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Australia will launch their campaign to win a fifth ICC Cricket World Cup title when they enter the 11th edition of the game’s pinnacle 50-over tournament as the number-one-ranked side on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings.

Michael Clarke George Bailey
George Bailey (R) will lead the team until Michael Clarke returns 

Australia will launch their campaign to win a fifth ICC Cricket World Cup title when they enter the 11th edition of the game’s pinnacle 50-over tournament as the number-one-ranked side on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings.

Australia will feature on the opening day of the tournament on 14 February in Melbourne when they lock horns with England, who currently sit in fifth position. Earlier on the same day in Christchurch, co-hosts and sixth-ranked New Zealand will go head to head with former champions and fourth-placed Sri Lanka, with just five rating points separating the two sides.

Australia enjoy a comfortable six-point advantage over their closest rivals and defending champions India, who square off against traditional rivals and seventh-ranked Pakistan in Adelaide. Also on Sunday, 15 February in Hamilton, third-ranked South Africa take on continental rivals Zimbabwe, who are currently sitting in 10th position and trail the title favourites by 55 rating points.

Two-time former champions and eight-ranked West Indies will meet 12th-ranked Ireland in Nelson on Monday, 16 February with 60 rating points separating the two sides.

Australia had also started as the top-ranked side in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011 in the subcontinent. However, it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side that lifted the trophy in Mumbai after entering the competition in second position and 12 ratings points behind Australia.

Australia not only have the home advantage this time around, they are also enjoying a winning momentum, having won 17 ODIs with just five defeats and one no-result since January 2014.

Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings (as on 12 February 2015, before the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015):

Rank Team Rating Points
1 Australia 120
2 India 114
3 South Africa 113
4 Sri Lanka 108
5 England 104
6 New Zealand 103
7 Pakistan 95
8 West Indies 94
9 Bangladesh 75
10 Zimbabwe 53
11 Afghanistan 41
12 Ireland 34
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