Is there any chance for India to become the top-ranked ODI side after winning this series?
The upcoming ODI series between New Zealand and India promises exciting cricket and could be a more balanced fight compared to the games played during India’s recent tour of Australia. The Black Caps are ranked third in ICC’s list of teams, just one spot lower than India and only eight-point ratings separate the two sides. India though have a 51-44 lead over the hosts but past statistics do not make much of an impact on upcoming results.
The NZ ODIs will be a big test for the Men in Blue and will be good preparation for the upcoming World Cup as the condition in England, where the WC will be played, will be similar. A result favouring the hosts overwhelmingly could even see them toppling India from the second rank in the ICC table.
NZ a strong force in their backyard
New Zealand though trail India in overall head-to-head records in the 50-over format, they have a 35-21 lead on their own soil. Since the 2015 edition of the World Cup in which they finished runners-up (the final was the only match they lost), New Zealand have lost just eight of the 27 matches they have played. Not many teams have succeeded in beating them in their own den and they also whitewashed Sri Lanka in the three-match recently.
Williamson’s side, which recently defeated Pakistan in a historic away Test series, will be taking inspiration from the fact that the Black Caps had thumped India 4-0 in a five-match series the last time the Men in Blue played an ODI series there in 2013-14. In 2009, though, India won a series 3-1 in New Zealand – the first time they did so on the opponents’ soil.
As far as the latest rankings are concerned, India are placed second with 121 points to their name while the Kiwis are nine points behind them at the third spot.
Here’s how the series will affect the ODI rankings:
1. India 5 – 0 New Zealand: The visitors will earn three points in case they manage to whitewash New Zealand. The Blackcaps, in this case, will lose two points and slip behind South Africa who are simultaneously playing the ODIs against Pakistan.
2. India 4 – 1 New Zealand: This result won’t yield many changes to the rankings. New Zealand will lose a point and South Africa will take over them by fractions. India will gain only a point and stay at the second position.
3. India 3 – 2 New Zealand: Two losses at the hands of the Kiwis will see the Men in Blue not gaining any points. The gap between both the teams will be reduced to eight points.
4. India 2 – 3 New Zealand: If India loses the series by 2-3, they will lose two points and will come down to 119 while New Zealand will climb to 114 points with no changes in rankings.
5. India 1 – 4 New Zealand: This will bring the home side very close to the second spot. New Zealand will end the series on 116 points while India will possess 118 to their name.
6. India 0 – 5 New Zealand: A whitewash in favour of New Zealand will see them eclipsing India who will lose five points and end on 116 points. The Kiwis, on the other hand, will gain six rating points to climb to the second spot.
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