India aim to retain second spot in rankings in historic series against West Indies

first_imgNearly five months after a heartbreaking exit from the World T20 following a semi-final defeat at the Wankhede Stadium at the hands of West Indies, India will get a chance to square up with the Caribbean men again.Even if MS Dhoni leads his team to a 2-0 whitewash over West Indies, it would not exact revenge. That was the World T20, a do-or-die semi-final in front of home crowds at a venue where they had lifted the World Cup five years ago. (Also read: Whitewash of West Indies won’t be enough for India to get top T20I rank)But victory over the West Indies this weekend will be sweet. They are currently the most dangerous T20 unit in the world. And the short series is being played in the United States of America, at enchanting Florida. This is first time India are playing there and added to honour will be the weight of history.Both games, scheduled on Satuday and Sunday, have been sold out. There is a huge Indian presence in Miami and most of them are starved of high-quality live cricket. (Also read: T20 champions West Indies step into familiar territory with India as underdogs)To watch the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard up close would be a dream-come-true for many.Will the superstars live up to their usual hype and deliver some stunning performances over the weekend?Besides entertaining the capacity crowds, India have a lot else to play for. They will lose their second position in the International Cricket Council’s T20I rankings if they lose the series 0-2.advertisementLed by new captain Carlos Brathwaite, who had smashed four consecutive sixes in the ICC World Twenty20 final against England in Kolkata, the West Indies can move to second place on 127 points with a 2-0 win and push India to third place on 124 points. (Also read: Cricket tips to Miami Heat stars, Team India wooing the United States)However, a 2-0 win for India, captain by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, will help it join number-one ranked New Zealand on 132 points but the Asian side will be ranked second when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point. In this scenario, the West Indies will slip to fourth position with 118 points, one point behind South Africa. A 1-1 series draw will keep India ahead on 128 points with West Indies on 123 points.The individual performances in the series will also be keenly watched with a player from either side leading the player rankings for batsmen and bowlers.India’s Test captain Virat Kohli heads the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for T20I Batsmen with 837 points. With Australia’s Aaron Finch only 34 points behind, Kohli will be looking to consolidate his position at the top.Rohit Sharma is the next-highest ranked India batsman in 23rd position, while Dhoni, who had led India to victory in the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 title in 2007, is in 50th position but the likelihood of getting more batting opportunities could see him rise in the ranks. (Also read: Cricket facilities in the United States surprise Anil Kumble)For the West Indies, big-hitting opener Chris Gayle (eighth) and experienced batsman Marlon Samuels (17th) will be looking to move up the ranks with Lendl Simmons (31st), Dwayne Bravo (37th) and Andre Fletcher (48th) also trying to climb the ladder.(With PTI Inputs)last_img

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