India claim No.1 spot in ICC T20I rankings
India claimed the No.1 ranking in T20Is after their 3-0 whitewash over Australia. India began the series in eighth place while Australia were joint-top but a 3-0 win meant the two sides swapped places and India are top with 120 points and Australia are No.8 with 110 points.
Although only 10 points separate the top eight teams, India’s dramatic rise in the rankings can be attributed to the fact that they not only whitewashed Australia on their own turf, for the first time in their history but also because they beat the side that was ranked No.1, albeit jointly, before the start of the series.
The first two matches of the three-match series followed a similar pattern as India batted first and posted a big score thanks to an unbeaten Virat Kohli fifty. And in both matches, Australia started strongly before falling to the Indian spinners and eventually falling short of the total.
In the third match, Australia posted the biggest total of the series, thanks to Shane Watson's unbeaten century, but even that wasn't enough as India clinched a last-ball thriller thanks to a boundary from Suresh Raina.
Raina posted this on Twitter, soon after:
Had Australia won the final T20I, which looked like a strong possibility, going into the last four overs, they would have slipped only to sixth and India would have just moved up a place to seventh, but a 3-0 win meant India claimed 10 points while Australia lost eight to swap places.
Before the ICC World T20 begins in the middle of March, South Africa host England in two T20Is, India play Sri Lanka in three T20Is and the Asia Cup begins in February, before the Proteas once again host a T20I series, this time against Australia on 4, 6 and 9 March.
With so many series between the top eight sides, who will go into the World T20 as the No.1 ranked T20 side is still uncertain. But one thing is for sure, with just 10 points between the top eight, there will be plenty more changes before the start of the World Cup in March.