Australia back on top of ICC Rankings ahead of ODI World Cup | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Australia overtook India to reach the top of the ICC ODI rankings following their 2-1 win over the hosts in the three-game contest. The visitors sealed the streak with a 21-point victory in Wednesday’s third and final ODI in Chennai.
Under substitute skipper Steve Smith, Australia rallied 0-1 to inflict a rare home defeat on India. It was India’s first loss in the ODI series on home soil since losing to Australia four years ago.
Five-time champion Australia will return to the subcontinent this year ODI World Cup with confidence after winning the series.
Australian whiteball cricket seemed to be at a crossroads just a few months ago, with Aaron Finch stepping down as one-day captain and the Twenty20 side failing to reach the semi-finals of the Home World Cup. Yet Australia’s ability to quickly reset, bounce back and ultimately dominate was once again on display in India.

“I think in World Cup years it can be very easy to look too far ahead,” said the all-rounder Mitchell Marsh. “But we really wanted to focus on this series and make sure our focus was on winning games for Australia. So really proud of the guys’ efforts to be able to beat the number one team in the world in their backyard. It’s a great achievement… Very proud of the guys and it’s the first step towards our World Cup.”
India hosts the 13th edition of the World Cup in October-November.
Australia were missing bereaved regular captain Pat Cummins for the series and veteran fly-half David Warner for the opening two games, but covered them well.
Quick left-armer Mitchell Starc demolished India in Game 2 with a five-wicket shot while series man Marsh, opening the stick with Travis Head in place of Warner, topped the scoring with 194 points to an average of 97.00.

While Adam Zampa was man of the match with a four-wicket run, selectors will have been boosted by Ashton Agar’s performance in Chennai where the second spinner turned the game around by knocking out Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav in deliveries successive.
The left hander had had an unforgettable tour of India so far, being overlooked by selectors throughout the four-Test series, which the hosts won 2-1.
“It’s definitely been an indifferent, sort of, six-week period for him,” Marsh said.
“But Ash is one of my closest friends and he’s one of the toughest characters I know. And that’s why he’s been able to come and play every time he plays for Australia. “
(With contributions from Reuters)


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