India on Monday sealed the numero uno spot in the ICC Twenty20 rankings after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side won the Asia Cup, and will now enter the World T20 as the top team.
India clinched the Asia Cup trophy after beating hosts Bangladesh by eight wickets in Mirpur on Sunday and strengthened their reputation as a favourite for the upcoming ICC World T20.
Australia chased down South Africa’s 204 to level the three-match T20 series 1-1 in Johannesburg on Sunday. But irrespective of which side wins Wednesday’s series decider in Cape Town, it will not be enough to dislodge India from the top, thus ensuring India will enter the World T20 as the number-one ranked side.
India, who won the inaugural event in South Africa in 2007 and finished runners-up in Bangladesh two years ago, are on 127 points, nine clear of 2012 winner West Indies and South Africa, who are on equal points (118).
In the T20 batting rankings, India’s Virat Kohli is placed second, followed by Rohit Sharma (11th), Suresh Raina (16th), Yuvraj Singh (22nd), Dhoni (43rd) and Shikhar Dhawan (48th). Australia’s Aaron Finch leads the batting rankings.
In the absence of Sunil Narine of West Indies, second-ranked Ravichandran Ashwin will start as the highest-ranked bowler in the tournament, while Ravindra Jadeja is 11th, Jasprit Bumrah is 27th and Yuvraj Singh is 43rd.
Yuvraj is also India’s highest-ranked all-rounder in sixth position.
In the team rankings, New Zealand are fourth on 116, followed by 2010 winner England in fifth, 2010 losing finalists Australia in sixth, 2009 champions Pakistan in seventh and defending champions Sri Lanka in eighth.
The sixth edition of the tournament, to be held in India for the first time, will start on Tuesday with 13th-ranked Zimbabwe taking on 14th-ranked Hong Kong in Nagpur, which will be followed by the match between ninth-ranked Afghanistan and 11th-ranked Scotland.
The second round will kick off on March 15, also in Nagpur, when India go head to head with New Zealand. The final will be played at Eden Gardens on April 3.