India will look to defend their number-two position on the ICC team chart when the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side takes on third-ranked South Africa in the five-match ODI cricket series that begins in Kanpur tomorrow.
India lead South Africa by five points and need to win two matches in order to stop falling behind the South Africa. A 4-1 win for the AB de Villiers-led side will put it second on 113 points with India dropping to third on 112 points, according to an ICC release.
But a 3-2 win for the tourists will mean India will retain second spot on 114 points and South Africa getting the consolation of reducing the gap with the host from five points to two.
On the other side of the coin, a series sweep for India would see them advance to 119 points and narrow Australia’s lead at the top to eight points. In this scenario, South Africa slip behind New Zealand in fourth position on 107 points.
Meanwhile, the top three batsmen in the player rankings will also feature in the series.
South Africa ODI captain AB de Villiers holds a 73-point advantage over his compatriot and second-ranked Hashim Amla who, in turn, is 21 points clear of India’s Virat Kohli.
Apart from that Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan (sixth) and Dhoni (eighth) are the other batsmen who represent the home side inside the top 10 and will be looking for upward movements during the series.
Outside the top 10, Rohit Sharma (15th), Faf du Plessis (17th) and Suresh Raina (18th), Quinton de Kock (23rd), David Miller (26th), Jean-Paul Duminy (34th), Ajinkya Rahane (38th) and Ambati Rayudu (49th) will be aiming to improve their rankings.