India claim no 1 spot in ICC rankings with ODI series win vs Proteas
Dubai: India have cemented their number-one ranking in the ICC One Day International (ODI) Team Rankings after victory in fifth of the six-match series against South Africa in Port Elizabeth. This however, confirmed that India will finish the series on top of the table irrespective of how the final match in Centurion pans out. Virat Kohli-led India had entered the six-match series in second position on 119 points, two points behind leaders South Africa. After taking a 4-1 lead, India has moved to 122 points, while South Africa have dropped to 118 points. Even if South Africa wins on Friday, India will remain No.1 on 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 context 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 win all the five matches against New Zealand, then Eoin Morgan’s side will claim second position, with South Africa slipping to third. Virat Kohli’s side leapfrogged the Proteas into number-one position after taking a 2-0 lead, but required two more wins to ensure that they finished in this position at the end of the series. The hosts 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 number-one position. Meanwhile, Afghanistan have 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.