The Indian cricket team has made sure that they will remain at no.1 position in the ICC One Day International (ODI) Team Rankings after victory in the fifth of the six-match series against South Africa in Port Elizabeth. However, this has confirmed that India will finish the series on top of the table irrespective of how the final match of the match in Centurion pans out.
India had started the six-match series in the second position on 119 points, two points behind the table-toppers South Africa. After taking an unassailable 4-1 lead, India has moved to 122 points, while South Africa has dropped to 118 points.
Even if South Africa wins the sixth and the final ODI on Friday, India will remain No.1 with 121 points, while South Africa will end on 119 points. In contrast, if India wins the series 5-1, then they will finish on 123 points, while South Africa will end on 117 points.
Tuesday’s result has given additional meaning to the upcoming five-match ODI series between New Zealand and England. Irrespective of the outcome of the final ODI between South Africa and India, if England manages to win all the five matches against New Zealand, then Eoin Morgan’s squad will claim the second position, with South Africa slipping to third.
Virat Kohli and his men have gone past the Proteas into number-one position after taking a 2-0 lead but required two more victories to ensure that they finished in this position at the end of the series.
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The Proteas remained on course when they won the Cape Town ODI, but South Africa pulled one back in Johannesburg to keep alive their chances of drawing the series at three-all, which, in turn, would have helped it to finish the series in the number-one position.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan has moved ahead of Zimbabwe in 10th position after winning the third ODI in Sharjah on Tuesday. To finish in this position, Afghanistan will have to win the series, which culminates on February 19.