Australia, who recently suffered a loss to South Africa in the third ODI of their series, has opened the door for India to reclaim the top spot they held until March 22 of this year. Presently, both Australia and Pakistan share the number 1 spot of the ICC ODI standings, with 118 points each, while India is closely trailing behind at the second spot with 116 points.
Pakistan’s upcoming Super Four match against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup has immense significance, as it could impact their joint No. 1 position in ODIs leading up to the World Cup. A victory against Sri Lanka would catapult Pakistan into the Asia Cup final against India, and the result of that final could have far-reaching consequences for their ranking.
India’s clash with Bangladesh in a dead rubber on Friday may not affect their World Cup chances, but it holds importance in the context of rankings and the race for the top spot. A win in the Asia Cup final by India would seriously dent Pakistan’s hopes of retaining their No. 1 position.
For Pakistan, aside from a few practice matches against New Zealand and Australia, there are no ODIs scheduled before the World Cup, making the Asia Cup outcome even more crucial.
Australia, despite their recent setback against South Africa, still has a chance to become the top-ranked ODI team before the World Cup. Their fate hinges on winning their final two games against South Africa. However, should Australia stumble in these matches, they will slide from the joint top spot to third in the rankings.The forthcoming three-match 50-over series between Australia and India at the end of this month carries significant weight in deciding which team secures the top ODI ranking heading into the World Cup. India has the most ODIs left to play among the three contenders, but their path to the top spot requires winning the Asia Cup and hoping for Australia’s missteps against South Africa.
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