Dubai: Defending champions India will enter the 11th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup in second spot behind leaders Australia. After failing to win a single game in the recently concluded tri-series, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side trail Australia by six points in the ODI rankings, according to an ICC media release.
Australia, who won the tri-series after humbling England in the final, are comfortably placed at the top with 120 ranking points followed by India (114) and South Africa (113). With just a few more international matches left to go before the the 50-over showpiece event kickstarts on February 14 in Australia and New Zealand, the 14 competing teams are gearing up for the warm-up matches slated between 8-13 of this month.
Meanwhile in the player rankings, India’s Virat Kohli is at the number three spot in the batsman’s chart with South Africa’s AB de Villers and Hashim Amla at the No.1 and 2 position respectively. Other Indians in the top-10 of the batting table include Shikhar Dhawan (7), whose lack of form in the tri-series came under intense criticism by one and all, and Dhoni at number eight.
The bowling, which is a major cause of worry for the Men in Blue before the World Cup, also disappoints with no Indian in the top-10 of the bowling chart. Medium-pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (13) and Ravindra Jadeja (14) are the only Indian bowlers in the top-20 list headed by Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal. In what promises to be an exciting World Cup, a total of 42 matches will be played throughout the group stage of the tournament. The top four teams from each pool will qualify for the quarter-finals.