The race for the top ODI team ranking heats up ahead of the World Cup.

The fight to be the top-ranked ODI side at the start of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup heats up in the coming days when the Asia Cup concludes and two of the top three sides compete in a bilateral series.

Despite their early withdrawal and India’s overwhelming triumph over Sri Lanka in the final, Pakistan will remain No. 1 at the end of the Asia Cup 2023. Australia, too, missed their chance to top the rankings with their series loss to South Africa.

The Aussies led the series 2-0 before the hosts launched a remarkable comeback and won three straight games to secure a series victory on Sunday.

The loss to Bangladesh prior of the final harmed India’s chances of reaching the top of the rankings, and even a record-breaking triumph against Sri Lanka in just over six overs did not propel them to the top.

We look at the matches that each team will play before the World Cup begins on October 5.

Australia
Currently ranked third
113 is the current rating.
India (September 22, September 24, September 27) is the next opponent.

Following the series loss to South Africa, Australia is no longer guaranteed to be the top-ranked team before the start of the World Cup. They will need to sweep India in order to enter the World Cup as the top-ranked team.

However, if Australia wins the first two games of the series, they will be ranked first until at least the final ODI.

Australia’s three-match series in India at the end of this month will have a significant impact on who is ranked first at the start of the World Cup.

India
Currently ranked second
The current rating is 115 (114.659).
Australia (September 22, September 24, and September 27):

India will be in great position to move to the top of the rankings if they win the series against Australia at home, which begins on September 22. In fact, if India wins the first ODI, it will overtake Pakistan as the top-ranked side in all three formats of the game.

Rohit Sharma’s team is coming off a sensational Asia Cup victory, and they might jump to No. 1 as early as Friday next week if they upset Australia in the first ODI in Mohali.

In a similar vein to Australia, India’s forthcoming three-match series against Pat Cummins’ side might be decisive in determining which team enters the World Cup as the top-ranked squad.

If India avoids a whitewash but loses the series to Australia, Pakistan will be the top-ranked team heading into the World Cup. In contrast, a 3-0 loss to Australia would drop India to third place and put Australia on top.

Pakistan is currently ranked first.
The current rating is 115 (114.889).
There will be no matches before the World Cup.

Pakistan’s chances of being ranked first at the outset of the World Cup were severely harmed after they lost their final Super Four match at the Asia Cup to Sri Lanka.

With no official ODI matches scheduled before the World Cup, Pakistan’s hopes of entering the tournament as the top-ranked team will be dependent on the outcome of the India-Australia series.

They could reclaim the top spot if Australia and India continue to lose, but the fact that these two teams are due to play each other at the end of the month implies that one of them will reclaim the top spot.