|India regained the top spot in the ICC ODI Rankings after the 73-run win against South Africa on Tuesday at Port Elizabeth. |
The win that gave India an unassailable 4-1 lead in the six-match ODI series also saw India take a good lead over South Africa in the rankings. It also means that even if India lose the final ODI of the series they will remain at the top.
India are likely to sit atop the rankings at least till June. England could climb up to second if they win 5-0 in New Zealand in February. However, neither South Africa nor England are set to play ODIs till June after that. India will also play their next ODI series in July only.
Moreover, the current form has shown that it will be very hard for any team to get past India. This was a historic moment in Indian cricket as this was their first bilateral series win in South Africa in any format. India have dominated the series despite some middle-order batting woes and problems with their batting in the last ten overs.
Their success has come primarily from the performance of their bowlers and captain Virat Kohli. The Indian captain is in exceptional touch these days. When, not if, the other Indian batsmen get back into their groove, it is just going to get better. India need to find a stable middle-order and that may their only concern before 2019 World Cup.
The Indian spinners have been star of the series. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have dominated South Africa with their wrist spin. The pace duo Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah rarely disappoint.
India are at 122 points while South Africa have dropped to 118 points. India came into the six-match series in second spot on 119 points with South Africa leading by 121 runs.
India could gain one more point if they win the final ODI of the series too. However, if South Africa win, India will shed one point while South Africa will stand second on 119 points.
This is the fifth time that India have taken the top spot in ICC ODI Rankings and for the first time since October 2017. The first time India rose to the top spot was back in January, 2013.