• Sunday, July 14, 2024


India’s triumph over Australia propels them to top ranking

The Indian team moved past arch-rivals Pakistan to take the top position

India’s KL Rahul (R) and Ravindra Jadeja celbrate after India won the first one-day international (ODI) cricket match against Australia at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on September 22, 2023. (Photo by ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

INDIA’s young openers ensured an easy five-wicket win over Australia after pacer Mohammed Shami took five wickets to restrict visitors at 276 in the first one-day international in Mohali on Friday (22).

Stand-in skipper KL Rahul, who won the toss and chose to field first, hit an unbeaten half-century, and stitched a key 80-run stand with Twenty20 sensation Suryakumar Yadav (50).

The duo stabilised the innings as the hosts lost four quick wickets, including openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (71) and Shubman Gill (74), after their 142-run opening stand.

With this victory, India have become only the second team in men’s cricket history to occupy the number one spot across all three formats.

The Indian team moved past arch-rivals Pakistan to take the top position in the one-day rankings as a result of their latest victory, just before they host the World Cup.

They were already number one in Tests and T20 internationals.

Only South Africa in 2012 have previously achieved the feat, according to the International Cricket Council.

India’s five-wicket victory took them to 116 rating points, one ahead of Pakistan.

But the hosts could slip down the table if Australia — on 111 points — win the remaining two matches in the series, a warm-up for the World Cup.

The Indian openers looked at ease against the varied Australian attack led by skipper Pat Cummins who returned for the three-match ODI series after a wrist injury.

Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa removed both openers to finish his spell with 2-57.

After Gaikwad’s wicket at 142, India also lost Shreyas Iyer (3), Gill, and Ishan Kishan (18) to slip to 185-4.

Flamboyant Yadav fell to Sean Abbott with only 12 runs needed, trying to hit India to the winning target of 277.

Earlier, Shami gave India the perfect start by dismissing dangerous Mitchell Marsh in the first over.

Opener David Warner and veteran Steven Smith stabilised the Australian innings after Marsh’s wicket with a 94-run stand before Warner fell to the left-arm spin of Ravindra Jadeja.

Smith fell soon after to leave visitors struggling at 112-3, and India’s veteran off-spinner R Ashwin removed a well-set Marnus Labuschagne (39).

A passing shower briefly disrupted play before a key partnership between Josh Inglis (45) and Marcus Stoinis (29) began to take the initiative from the hosts.

But Shami returned to remove Stoinis, Matthew Short, and Sean Abbott and finish with 5-51.

Cummins remained unbeaten after nine-ball 21 as Australia set the hosts a below-par target.

Rahul praised player-of-the-match Shami and said that India “started really well with the ball”.

“It was tough for the middle-order batters,” the skipper said after the game and acknowledged his “good” partnership with Yadav.


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