Dubai: India will start their campaign in the Asia Cup with an aim to retain the number two position in the ICC ODI team rankings at the April 1 cut-off date.
At number two, India will be the highest ranked side in the five-team tournament with 115 ratings points.
Apart from India, the tournament will feature fourth-ranked Sri Lanka, sixth-placed Pakistan, ninth-placed Bangladesh and unranked Afghanistan.
The side that finishes on top of the ODI rankings at the April 1 cut-off date receives a shield and a cheque of USD 175,000, while the side finishing second receives USD 75,000.
India held the number one rank for a year, but ceded the top position to Australia after losing their recent ODI series against New Zealand 0-4.
Australia are now assured of the number-one ranking on the cut-off date with 117 ratings points. Even if India win all their matches in the Asia Cup, including the final, they will gain two ratings points to move to 117, at par with Australia. But when ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point, Michael Clarke’s side will be ranked higher.
Therefore, India can at best hope to retain the number two spot at the end of the Asia Cup, but their position could be challenged by fourth-ranked Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka rounded off a three-match series against hosts Bangladesh with a six wickets win on Saturday to win the series 3-0. The clean sweep helped Sri Lanka gain a rating point to move to 109, at par with England, but when ratings were calculated beyond the decimal point, Angelo Mathews’ men were able to move ahead into fourth place.
Sri Lanka can now hope to move ahead of India on the rankings table if they win all their matches in the Asia Cup, including the final.
In such a scenario, Sri Lanka will gain three ratings points to finish on 112, a point ahead of India and therefore move up two places to second.
But if India win even one of their matches in Asia Cup, they will hold onto the number-two ranking, inspite of losing up to three ratings points to finish on 112.