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India will jump to No. 2 in rankings if they whitewash West Indies

India can go past Australia to be ranked as the No. 2 ODI team if they have a clean sweep over hosts West Indies.

India News
Team India. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

India begins their next ODI assignment on Friday when they take on West Indies in Trinidad in the first of the five-match ODI series. They will be playing their first ODI in the Caribbean after a gap of four years, though they toured the West Indies last year for a Test series. All eyes are on Virat Kohli and his team who will play their first game post the Anil Kumble era.

The skipper, due to a decent Champions Trophy where he recorded 253 runs in 5 innings, has retained the No. 1 spot in the latest ICC rankings for batsmen. India are ranked No. 3 behind Australia and South Africa, both of which struggled to go past the group stages of the tournament. Proteas skipper AB De Villiers trail Kohli by a mere four points. Both De Villiers and Kohli are hailed as the best limited-overs batsmen in the world, a hypothesis which is validated by the ICC rankings.

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Amongst other Indian batsmen, openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan jointly hold the 10th position. None of the other team members feature in the top-10 list of bowlers neither in the top-5 list of all-rounders.

If India whitewashes West Indies, they have a chance to jump to the second spot overtaking Australia (117 points). Both teams are separated by just a solitary point and if India could go past West Indies 5-0, they will end up at 118 points. Kohli and his men would love that and the skipper personally would also want to retain the No. 1 ranking as a batsman. West Indies’ chances of directly qualifying for the 2019 World Cup will be severely jolted if they lose all 5 games as they will have just 75 points to their name.

If the hosts manage to win 2 games in the series, their points will go up to 81 from 77. They will still trail by 12 points to Sri Lanka, who are currently the 8th ranked ODI team. India will thus drop below England at the fourth spot with 112 points.

India would want to stamp their authority over a lowly West Indies and rise in the rankings. The hosts, on the contrary, have a direct qualification for the World Cup and pride at stake going into the series.

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