Latest ICC ODI rankings: India lose top spot after defeat against Australia in Bengaluru
What's the story?
Following their 21-run defeat at the hands of Australia in the fourth ODI at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday, India have relinquished their number one position in the latest ICC ODI rankings. The loss, which also brought an end to their nine-match winning streak in the 50-over format, resulted in the 'Men in Blue' slipping to second in the rankings. As a consequence, South Africa have managed to reclaim their number one spot.
From 120 rating points on the eve of the game, India slipped to 119 rating points after their narrow defeat in the Garden City. Even though South Africa have the same number of rating points at present, Virat Kohli's team fell to the second spot by a margin of decimal points.
On the other hand, Australia were able to cling on to their number three spot by virtue of their thrilling triumph which was also their first victory in away ODIs after 11 successive defeats. The visitors gained one rating point and ensured that they would remain at number three even if they lose in the fifth ODI.
After their series sealing 5-wicket victory in the third ODI against Australia at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, India had marched to the top of the ODI rankings. Since they had already possessed the number one spot in Tests with 125 rating points, Kohli's troops created national history by becoming the first Indian team to hold the top spot in both premier formats.
The heart of the matter
Here are the latest ODI rankings released by International Cricket Council (ICC) at the conclusion of the fourth ODI between India and Australia in Bengaluru on Thursday.
Although they have already won the series, there will be no shortage of motivation for India as the number one position is still up for grabs. The 'Men in Blue' can climb back to the top spot in the ODI rankings if they win the fifth ODI against Australia which will take place at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium on Sunday. Kohli's team will gain one rating point and move up to 120 points if they emerge victorious in Nagpur.
Meanwhile, Australia can improve their tally to 116 rating points should they win the final ODI of the series. In such a scenario, India will slip to 118 rating points but still retain their number two position.
It is also worth noting that England will lock horns with West Indies in the fifth ODI at The Rose Bowl on Friday. However, even if they win the final match, Eoin Morgan's men cannot displace Australia from the number three spot.
Constant changes at the top of the ODI rankings indicate that there is no clear-cut best team in the 50-over format at present. The frequent fluidity in the rankings adds spice to the bilateral affairs which are often criticised for their diminishing context.