Hardik Pandya brilliance gift India a comfortable five-wicket victory over Australia in the third one-day international match, at Holkar Stadium, Indore as hosts take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the 5-match series. And thus, what comes as a sure delight for Virat Kohli and his men is that Team India have once again reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the ICC ODI Team rankings, edging past South Africa by only one rating point.
Heading into the series, the Men in Blue stood a little by a decimal behind Australia at No.3 on the rankings chart. Condition applied was – they ought to finish with the ODI series with a lead of 4-1 or better to dethrone the then incumbent South Africa. The latter team sta atop with 119 points while Australia and India were with 117 each (difference by a decimal mark).
On winning the Chennai ODI by 276 run in a rain-truncated encounter and then a comprehensive 50-run win at Eden Gardens closed in on the gap between India and South Africa. The difference was just 0.01, going by the ratings.
Riding on Pandya’s 72-ball 78 along with fifties from openers Ajinkya Rahane (70) and Rohit Sharma (71) which witnessed a blistering 139-run partnership, Team India nullified Aaron Finch’s ton and Smith’s fifty to grab the series in their favour. With the five-wicket victory, hosts now have accumulated 5764 points from 48 matches taking their ratings to 120.08. Behind them stand, South Africa with a rating of 119, while Australia lost points but maintained their No. 3 rank.
However, India now have to maintain their winning spree in the next two matches to retain the spot. A defeat at Chinnaswamy against Australia on September 28 can witness the team slipping down to No.2.
This was also the team’s ninth successive ODI win under Virat Kohli, and thereby equalled India’s longest-ever winning streak in ODIs.