Latest ICC ODI Rankings: India seal number one position by winning South Africa series
Even if South Africa win the sixth ODI, they cannot displace India from the top spot.
What's the story?
Following their emphatic victory against South Africa in the fifth ODI at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth, India have sealed the number one position. In the latest ODI rankings released by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the 'Men in Blue' have cemented the top spot after taking a 4-1 lead in the six-match series.
Even if South Africa salvage pride by winning the sixth ODI scheduled to take place at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday, India will continue to remain on top of the table. They have surged to 122 rating points and opened up a four-point lead over the second-placed Proteas.
At 116 rating points, England are only two rating points behind South Africa and occupy the third spot in the ODI table. New Zealand (115) and Australia (112) are the only other teams to possess more than 100 rating points.
Prior to the start of the six-match series, India had been ranked number two with 119 rating points. On the other hand, South Africa had led the table with 121 points.
An unassailable 4-1 lead has not only enabled the Indian team to win their maiden ODI series on South African soil but has also given them three more rating points. Meanwhile, the hefty defeats have caused the Proteas to lose three points.
The heart of the matter
If India win the sixth ODI in Centurion and close the series at 5-1, they will gain one more rating point and extend their lead at the top of the table to 123 points. In such scenario, South Africa will lose one rating point and slip to 117 points.
If South Africa win the dead rubber at SuperSport Park, they will earn one more rating point and lead the third-placed England by three points. Meanwhile, a series victory margin of 4-2 for India will see them lose one rating point and move to 121 points.
Latest ICC ODI Rankings
Having taken a 2-1 lead in the 5-match ODI series, Afghanistan have moved ahead of Zimbabwe to enter the top ten. In order for them to retain their tenth spot, they will have to win at least one game in the remaining two matches scheduled to take place on Friday and Monday.
England will next take on the Blackcaps in a 5-match ODI series in New Zealand. While the first match is scheduled to occur on February 25 in Hamilton, the series will conclude on March 10 in Christchurch.
After defending their number one ranking and retaining the prestigious ICC Test mace in Johannesburg, India have now reclaimed the number one ODI ranking as well. The fact that they now hold the top spot in the two premier formats of the game is an indication that Indian cricket is going from strength to strength at the moment.