Dubai: India have cemented their number-one ranking in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings after victory in Tuesday’s match in Port Elizabeth, which confirmed that they will finish the series on top of the table irrespective of how the final match in Centurion pans out.
India had entered the six-match series in second position on 119 points, two points behind leaders South Africa. After taking a 4-1 lead, India have moved to 122 points, while South Africa have dropped to 118 points.
Even if South Africa wins on Friday, India will remain No.1 on 121 points, while South Africa will end on 119 points. In contrast, if India wins the series 5-1, then they will finish on 123 points, while South Africa will end on 117 points.
Tuesday’s result has given additional context to the upcoming five-match ODI series between New Zealand and England. Irrespective of the outcome of Friday’s match between South Africa and India, if England wins all the five matches against New Zealand, then Eoin Morgan’s side will claim second position, with South Africa slipping to third.
India had started the series fully aware that they would have to win the series by 4-2 or better if they were to add No.1 ODI ranking to their No.1 Test ranking..
This is the first time since October 2017 and fifth time overall that India have finished on top of the ODI rankings following the conclusion of a series since rising to the top for the first time in January 2013.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan have moved ahead of Zimbabwe in 10th position after winning the third ODI in Sharjah on Tuesday. To finish in this position, Afghanistan will have to win the series, which culminates on 19 February.