With the conclusion of the Asia Cup and an impending bilateral series between two of the top three teams, the competition for the coveted top spot has reached a fever pitch between India, Australia and Pakistan.
Despite their early exit from the Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan retains their hold on the No.1 spot in the ODI rankings. This surprising outcome follows India’s resounding victory over Sri Lanka in the final. Meanwhile, Australia missed an opportunity to claim the top position after a series loss to South Africa.
Australia had been 2-0 up in the series against South Africa before the hosts staged a remarkable comeback, winning three consecutive games and securing a series victory on Sunday.
India, on the other hand, saw their chances of ascending to the top of the rankings dwindle after a defeat to Bangladesh just ahead of the final. Even a record-breaking victory, sealed in just over six overs, against Sri Lanka, did not propel them to the No.1 position.
Here is a closer look at the upcoming fixtures for each of these cricketing powerhouses as they prepare for the World Cup, set to commence on October 5:
- Current Ranking: First
- Current Rating: 115
- Upcoming Fixtures: No matches prior to World Cup
Pakistan’s hopes of retaining the No.1 ranking at the start of the World Cup suffered a significant setback with their defeat to Sri Lanka in the final Super Four match at the Asia Cup. With no official ODI matches scheduled for Pakistan before the World Cup, their chances of entering the tournament as the top-ranked team hinge on the outcome of the India-Australia series. Should both Australia and India continue to falter, Pakistan could still reclaim the premier position. However, the fact that these two teams are set to face off at the end of the month means that one of them will likely reclaim the No.1 spot.
- Current Ranking: Third
- Current Rating: 113
- Upcoming Fixtures: India (September 22, September 24, September 27)
Australia’s aspiration to be the No.1 ranked side at the World Cup has been complicated by their recent series loss to South Africa. To regain the top spot, they must whitewash India in the upcoming series. However, even starting the series with two wins would temporarily propel them to the No.1 position. The outcome of Australia’s three-match series in India at the end of this month will have a pivotal role in determining which team secures the top ranking at the outset of the World Cup.
- Current Ranking: Second
- Current Rating: 115
- Upcoming Fixtures: Australia (September 22, September 24, September 27)
India is in prime position to claim the No.1 ranking if they secure a series victory over Australia at home in the series commencing on September 22. In fact, a triumph in the first ODI would catapult India to the No.1 spot, surpassing Pakistan as the top-ranked team across all three formats of the game.
Following their remarkable Asia Cup victory, Rohit Sharma’s side could potentially attain the No.1 position as early as next Friday, provided they defeat Australia in the opening ODI in Mohali. Similar to Australia, India’s upcoming three-match series against Pat Cummins’ team holds great significance in determining which team enters the World Cup as the No.1 ranked side.
Should India avoid a whitewash but still lose the series to Australia, Pakistan will retain their top-ranked status for the World Cup. Conversely, a 3-0 loss to Australia will see India drop to the third position, with Australia ascending to the top.