India climbs T20I summit: Their best series wins en route

ICC Rankings

By Karan Sen

Hit For Six!

From series sweeps against New Zealand and West Indies to close victories against England and Australia – we take a look at some of India's finest moments as they reach the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Men's T20I Team Rankings.

India completed a 3-0 sweep against West Indies at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata to climb to the top. This brought them level on ratings (269) with England, with both teams having played 39 matches. But India edged past them by the virtue of having 10 more points at 10,484. 

Here we take a look at some of India's finest T20I series victories during the current rankings period. 

5-0 victory in New Zealand (Jan-Feb 2020)

Away from home, Inda were rampant in the T20Is during their tour of New Zealand. The five-match series was expected to go down to the wire with two heavyweights clashing. But India had other ideas. 

The visitors won the first T20I relatively comfortably in Auckland, chasing down a target of 204 in 19 overs. The second match at the same venue was another straightforward win for India, as they chased down the target of 133 in only 17.3 overs.

Video cwc19 07 Nov 21
Insta Memories: Rohit Sharma

The next two matches were riveting contests, as New Zealand fought back hard, with both matches going into Super Overs. But the visitors kept their calm in the crucial moments, securing victories in Hamilton and Wellington. 

Despite already having a 4-0 series lead, there was no drop off in the intensity of the visitors as they won the fifth match in Mount Maunganui with India winning by seven runs.

2-1 victory in Australia (Dec-Jan 2020/21)

Another away series, another memorable performance. Touring Australia, India quickly got over the disappointment of losing the ODI series by bouncing back convincingly in the T20I leg. 

In the first match in Canberra, crucial knocks by KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja ensured that India posted a competitive total of 161. T. Natarajan and Yuzvendra Chahal then provided the goods with the ball to help India defend the target and win the contest by 11 runs. 

India won the three-match series 2-1
India won the three-match series 2-1

In the second match in Sydney, India showcased their mettle while chasing down a total. Batting first, Australia posted a healthy score of 194/5. But a collective batting display helped India hunt down the target with two deliveries remaining. The hosts were especially left shell-shocked by Hardik Pandya's power-hitting down the order. 

India lost the third and final T20I at the same venue by 12 runs, but went on to secure a historic 2-1 victory in the Test series thereafter. 

3-2 victory v England (March 2021)

The anticipation around the series was at an all-time high as India and England clashed with preparations for the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup the focus. 

England took an early lead in the series, winning the first match by a comprehensive eight wickets in Ahmedabad. India hit back hard as Virat Kohli and Ishan Kishan ensured there were no hiccups while chasing down a target of 165 in the second match at the same venue. 

The visitors again showcased what a formidable outfit they were in the shortest format as they comfortably chased down a score of 157 with eight wickets in hand in the third clash, with Jos Buttler in full flow during a devastating 83*. 

India emerged as 3-2 victors over England in a hard-fought series
India emerged as 3-2 victors over England in a hard-fought series

With their backs against the wall, it was do-or-die for India as they stared at a series-defeat at home. But when the pressure was high, the hosts delivered the goods in the final two matches 

They defended a target of 186 in the fourth match, Suryakumar Yadav's sensational knock and Shardul Thakur's heroics with the ball helping them to an eight-run win. 

India then turned up the heat in the final T20I as Rohit Sharma (64) and Virat Kohli (80) went berserk, taking India to a mammoth 224/2. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was clinical with the ball as England succumbed to a 36-run defeat. 

3-0 series victory v New Zealand (November 2021)

The onus was on India to bounce back hard after their disappointment at the T20 World Cup, where they failed to make the semis despite being one of the favourites. It was also the start of a new era as Rohit Sharma became India's new T20I captain, with Rahul Dravid taking over as the head coach. 

The hosts were clinical in the series against the World Cup finalists, completing a 3-0 whitewash. The first match was a close contest, the visitors taking India right down to the wire. The hosts though chased down the target of 165 in Jaipur with two deliveries left and five wickets in hand. 

The second match was relatively easier as India first restricted New Zealand to 153/6 after an economic spell from Harshal Patel. The chase was completed in 17.2 overs, thanks to a big opening stand between Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. 

In the third and final T20I, India first set New Zealand a daunting target of 185. The spin of Axar Patel then proved too hot for the Black Caps to handle as they succumbed to a massive 73-run defeat. 

3-0 series victory v West Indies (February 2022)

This series victory that propelled India to the No.1 spot in the rankings – after a 3-0 sweep in the ODI series, the confidence was high in the Indian camp as the action shifted to Kolkata. 

India were comfortable winners in the first match, chasing down a target of 158 with six wickets and seven deliveries remaining. 

The second match was a nail-biting encounter with the Windies showcasing why they were such a fearsome prospect in the format. India set West Indies a target of 187, and the visitors got perilously close, falling short by only eight runs after some devastating hitting by Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell.

Despite missing Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant in the final match, India still got the job done as Suryakumar Yadav and Venkatesh Iyer helped India to a score of 184/5. Harshal Patel's 3/22 then restricted the visitors to 167/9 as the job was done, and the No.1 spot in the rankings was in the bag. 

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