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India vs New Zealand 2017: What India should do to become the World number 1 ODI side

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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3.47K   //    21 Oct 2017, 15:35 IST

India v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy Final


What's the story?

After losing the number 1 ODI ranking to South Arica, India will look to regain the spot when they take on New Zealand in the first of the three-match ODI series at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on October 22.

At the moment, both South Africa and India are both on 120 points with the Proteas just ahead on decimal points. They will still be on 120 points if they beat Bangladesh in the third ODI on October 22. In spite of the series whitewash, they won't be the number one ODI team if Virat Kohli and his men beat New Zealand later that day. 

In case you didn't know...

South Africa regained the number 1 ranking in ODIs after they beat Bangladesh in the first two matches. Thanks to his 104-ball 176 in the second ODI, AB de Villiers went ahead of Virat Kohli to regain the number 1 spot in the ODI rankings for batsmen.

Details

According to the current rankings, South Africa just edge India on decimal points as both the teams are tied at 120 points.

Even a win in the third ODI against Bangladesh won't give the Proteas an extra point as the Tigers are ranked much below South Africa in the table and Faf du Plessis and co. are playing at home.

India, on the other hand, are playing at home and are facing fifth-ranked New Zealand and a win in the first match will be enough for them to get their rating points above South Africa.

With South Africa not scheduled to play any ODI series in the next three months, a series whitewash against the Kiwis will keep the hosts at the top of the table for a while.

What's next?

If India win the series 3-0, they will be at the top of the table with 122 points. A 2-1 series will see India going down to number 2 in the rankings with South Africa regaining the top spot just on decimal points.

If New Zealand win the series 1-2, India will lose two rating points and will still stay at number 2 with 118 points. A Kiwi whitewash will see them move to the third position with 115 points and India will stay at number 2 with 117 points.  

Author's Take

Even though the Indian team is playing so well, it will be very difficult for them to beat New Zealand 3-0 and retain the number 1 ranking at the end of the series as the Kiwis are expected to give Indians a tough fight, something that was not there in the last three ODI series.

Even if Kohli's men lost the top spot, they will have a chance to regain it as they host Sri Lanka in a three-match ODI series in December this year and South Africa are unlikely to play an ODI series till they host India in February.

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