Despite their convincing victory in the Asia Cup 2023 final against Sri Lanka, Team India missed a crucial opportunity to claim the coveted number one ranking across all three cricket formats. This setback was primarily due to their unexpected loss to Bangladesh during the tournament, which had a significant impact on their ranking prospects. While Pakistan currently holds the number one spot in the ICC ODI team rankings, the Men in Blue still retains a chance to ascend to the pinnacle as the leading team in the 50-over format, just prior to the ODI World Cup 2023 which will held in India between October-November .

Scenario for India: Chasing the No. 1 ranking

The upcoming ODI series between India and Australia, scheduled to begin on September 22, holds immense significance as it will determine which team attains the coveted No. 1 ranking just before the World Cup commences. India currently stands in a favourable position to secure the top spot in the rankings if they manage to clinch the series against Australia on their home turf.

In fact, even a victory in the first ODI of the series would propel India to become the No. 1 ranked team across all three formats of the game, under the leadership of Rohit Sharma. Furthermore, India have the opportunity to ascend to the pinnacle of the rankings and become the new world No. 1 even if they triumph over Australia with a 2-1 margin. Conversely, a 3-0 series loss to Australia would result in India slipping to the third position, with Australia claiming the top spot.

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Scenario for Australia: A chance for redemption

Australia found themselves in a commanding position in the ODI series against South Africa, leading 2-0 and appearing as the favorites to secure the world No. 1 ranking. Had they maintained their momentum and won the series, the outcome of their upcoming contest against India would have held little significance in determining the ICC rankings before the quadrennial event .

However, Australia’s fortunes took a dramatic turn as they suffered a brutal 2-3 loss to South Africa, jeopardizing their chances of becoming the top-ranked team. Now, their only hope of achieving the No. 1 ranking lies in the prospect of a stellar whitewash against India. Nevertheless, if Australia begins the series against India with two wins, they will temporarily ascend to the top of the rankings until the conclusion of the final ODI.

Pakistan’s hopes hinge on India-Australia series

Pakistan’s hopes of claiming the coveted No. 1 ranking in ODI cricket took a significant blow when they suffered a defeat in their final Super Four match at the Asia Cup, falling to Sri Lanka. Nonetheless, their fortunes took an unexpected turn when Bangladesh managed to defeat India in a crucial Super Four encounter.

With no official ODI matches scheduled for Pakistan leading up to the World Cup, their hopes of entering the tournament as the No. 1 ranked team now hinge on the outcome of the upcoming India-Australia series.

Also READ: Here is Virat Kohli’s emotional message for fans ahead of the ODI World Cup 2023

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