India need a win to stay 2nd, Australia need no win to stay 1st
The ICC ODI Rankings seem quite safe and sound for both Australia and India, as the two giant nations get set to fight in 5 match 50 over contest down-under.
World Champions Australia are 1st with 127 points, leading India by 13 points, who are second at 114. Even in case of an Australian whitewash, which seems the last of the things that could ever happen in today’s cricket, Steve Smith’s side would drop points, but that the slip still wouldn’t be enough to let loose their 1st position. On the other hand, former two time world champions India do need atleast 1 win in the 5 match series to keep their 2nd spot secure. In case the worst happens, and the visitors dont end up with a single win, they would slip to 3rd place, tied with new Zealand on 111 points.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the ICC ODI rankings for players, the Indians would have their heads held up high, with 3 names in the list. Australia have just 1, in Glen Maxwell, who stands at 10th position.
Virat Kohli is 2nd in the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen, just behind South African sensation AB De Villiers. Kohli would feel his role in the side among the most important ones. He would be aiming to produce a good run of form with the bat to close the gap with the great AB De Villiers, the ICC ODI player of the year.
MS Dhoni had a disappointing home series against South Africa, though the skipper stands at no.6 in the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen, one place above opener Shikhar Dhawan.
When it comes to the ICC ODI rankings for bowlers, Ravichandran Ashwin will start the series as the highest ranked among the two teams due to the absence of the injured Mitchel Starc. Ashwin is 1st in the Test rankings, but 10th in the ICC ODI rankings. He would be aiming to continue his good form down-under, in a bid to regain a place in the top 5. Ashwin’s spin partner and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, proved lethal in the Test series against South Africa. He too would be looking to climb a few places from his current 22nd position.
India’s Mohammad Shami, who has only just suffered a fresh injury blow, has been replaced in the side by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Kumar is the second highest ranked bowler among the two teams (14th).