Australia defeated England 2-1 in their previous series of the 13-team championship, introduced this year to bring context to ODI cricket and to decide the seven direct qualifiers for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. India, though assured of a berth as hosts, would be using the opportunity for long-term preparation of their squad.
Reigning World Cup winners England currently lead the points table with 30 points but are the only team to have played two series. They defeated Ireland 2-1 in the opening series of the championship before losing by the same margin to five-time world champions Australia, who have 20 points for their two matches won.
Pakistan are also on 20 points after a 2-1 series win over Zimbabwe but ahead of Australia on net run rate. Zimbabwe managed 10 points from their series in Pakistan after a Super Over win in the final ODI played in Rawalpindi.
In the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings, Kohli will get a chance to consolidate his position at the top of the batters’ list in the absence of second-ranked compatriot Rohit Sharma, with left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan (15th) and vice-captain Lokesh Rahul (35th) the other leading India batters from the rankings perspective.
Second-ranked fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has a chance to regain the top spot for bowlers as he has only three points less than New Zealand’s Trent Boult, while spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (15th), Kuldeep Yadav (20th), all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (25th) and Mohammad Shami (26th) are the others to watch.
Kohli’s counterpart Finch too is his team’s highest-ranked batter, in the seventh position. Steve Smith (21st), all-rounder Glenn Maxwell (27th) and wicketkeeper Alex Carey (29th) would be looking to work their way into the top-20 during the series.
Three of Australia’s fast bowlers are in the top 10. Only five points separate vice-captain Pat Cummins (sixth) and Josh Hazlewood (seventh), with South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada within striking distance of the duo. Mitchell Starc is in joint-10th position.
For more information on player rankings, please click here.