After dominant series wins over New Zealand, England and Bangladesh, Virat Kohli’s India cricket team will take on Australia cricket team in the last leg of the 13-match home season, starting next week in Pune. However, it won’t just be a team battle between the top sides; there are individual ones at stake as well.
However, let’s start with the team. India, the top-ranked side lead Australia by 12 points and will need to avoid a 0-4 or 0-3 defeat to hold on to that ranking. While they will slip down to the second spot in the worst scenario, at 0-3, India will share the spoils with Australia on the top with 114 points each. But, given the manner in which they’ve achieved the victories in the previous matches of the home season, the above scorelines look highly unlikely.
There is a separate battle reserved for the talismanic captains of the two sides as well. While Steve Smith (933) will want to carry on his supremacy on the top of the ICC Test Batsmen rankings, Virat Kohli (895), will surely want to go past the 900-mark for the first time in his career.
Virat Kohli has already bettered Rahul Dravid’s (892) career high and is tantalizingly close to break batting legend Sachin Tendulkar’s (898) feat as well while reaching the landmark.
Overall, he’ll be the 31st person to scale the landmark but will only be the second India behind former captain Sunil Gavaskar who had 916. Virat had 875 points in his kitty before the last Test match against Bangladesh, but his fourth double hundred (204) in as many series and a 38 in the second innings helped him gain 20 points.
In the bowling department however, the competition between the top two will be beneficial for the hosts. Ravichandran Ashwin leads the tally with 887 points but is just 10 points ahead of his partner in crime Ravindra Jadeja. The duo had picked up six wickets each in the one-off Test against Bangladesh to help the hosts cruise to a 208-run victory.
Ashwin also leads the rankings in the all-rounders list with Jadeja on the third spot with 406 points. Former Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan is on the second spot with 440 points.