Virat Kohli starts Tri-Series as highest-ranked batsman

India’s Virat Kohli will start off as the highest-ranked batsman in the ODI tri-series that starts Sunday with a clash between India and Australia in Melbourne.

Kohli, who showed good form in the Test series against Australia when he ended up as his side’s leading run-getter with 300 runs, trails South Africa’s ODI captain AB De Villiers (at second place) by 45 ratings points.

Hashim Amla sits on top, another 26 rating points ahead. Amla and de Villiers will feature in the three-match ODI series in New Zealand from 25 February to 3 March.

The other batsmen in the series inside the top10 include India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (sixth), Kumar Sangakkara (seventh), Mike Hussey (eighth) and Michael Clarke (ninth).

In the ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers, Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga is the highest-ranked bowler in the series in 10th position.

India’s Ravindra Jadeja and Brett Lee of Australia are the highest-ranked bowlers of their sides in 13th and 15th positions, respectively.

In the ICC ODI Championship table, Number-one ranked and four-time former world champion Australia sits pretty on 130 ratings points, leading second-ranked current world champion India by 14 ratings points with fourth-ranked 1996 world champion Sri Lanka another five ratings points behind.

And as the rankings system is weighted to reflect this difference, Sri Lanka could earn significant number of points if it is successful in the series. In contrast, Australia and India can lose points if they don’t win bulk of their matches.

To explain further, if Australia beats India in the opener on Sunday, it will earn one ratings point while India will drop one ratings point. However, if the result is reversed, then Australia will lose two ratings points whereas India will gain one ratings point.

Similarly, if India loses to Australia and then to Sri Lanka, Australia will rise to 131 ratings points and Sri Lanka will move to 113 ratings points whereas India will slip to third position at 115 ratings points.

On the other hand, if India lives up to its reputation of being world champions and manages to win all its matches, it could go up on the table.

With a maximum of 15 matches to be played in the series with each side guaranteed at least eight matches, there will be regular changes on the Championship table with the final shape of the table only emerging after 8 March when the series in Australia ends.

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