New Delhi: India, which have lifted the Asia Cup title for the sixth time, have strengthen their reputation as a strong title contender for the ICC World T20 as they will enter the tournament as the number-one ranked side. India’s number-one ranking was sealed after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side swept aside Bangladesh by eight wickets to seal the Asia Cup title in Mirpur, hours after Australia had chased down South Africa’s 204 to level the three-match series at one-all.
India, which won the inaugural event in South Africa and finished runner-up in Bangladesh two years ago are on 127 points, nine points clear of 2012 winner West Indies and South Africa, who are on equal points (118).Meanwhile, New Zealand are placed fourth with 116 points, followed by 2010 winner England in fifth, 2010 losing finalist Australia in sixth, 2009 champion Pakistan in seventh and defending champion Sri Lanka in eighth.
These eight sides qualified directly for the second round after finishing inside the top eight of the ICC T20I Rankings.Tenth-ranked Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have been joined in the first round by Afghanistan, Hong Kong, 15th-ranked Ireland, 12th-ranked Netherlands, 11th-ranked Scotland and 16th-ranked Oman, who qualified for the tournament proper after claiming the top six positions in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 in Ireland and Scotland.
In the batting table, Virat Kohli is at second spot and is followed by Rohit Sharma (11th), Suresh Raina (16th), Yuvraj Singh (22nd), Dhoni (43rd) and Shikhar Dhawan (48th).In the absence of Sunil Narine, second-ranked Ravichandran Ashwin will start as the highest-ranked bowler while Ravindra Jadeja is 11th, Jasprit Bumrah is at 27th and Yuvraj is 43rd. Yuvraj is also India’s highest-ranked all-rounder in sixth position.
The ICC World T20 is slated to be held from Tuesday and India will play their opening match against New Zealand at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on March 15.