India captain Virat Kohli continued to be the world's top-ranked One-day batsman in the latest ICC ODI rankings, released in Dubai on Friday. Having 873 points in his kitty, Kohli will have a chance to increase the 12-point lead over second-placed Australian David Warner at the upcoming five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, starting in Dambulla on Sunday.
Other Indian batsmen in the top-15 are former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (12th), Shikhar Dhawan (13th) and vice- captain Rohit Sharma (14th). However, no Indian bowler figure in the top-10 list. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (13th) is the lone Indian in top 15. As for the ICC ODI Team Rankings, India are currently at number three and they would have to win the upcoming series at least by a 4-1 margin to ensure that they stay at that position, ahead of England.
At 114 points, India, even if win the series 3-2, will slip to 113 points and behind England on decimal points. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will by eyeing the chance to seal direct qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 during the upcoming series. The 1996 World Champions will have to win at least two matches to secure a place in the pinnacle 50-over competition by staving off the challenge from the West Indies.
The cut-off date for direct qualification is September 30. Sri Lanka are placed eighth with 88 points, 10 points more than the West Indies team, which has an unenviable task in its aim of being among the seven top-ranked sides apart from host
England to gain direct qualification. The bottom four sides on the ICC ODI Team Rankings will need to play a qualifying event, also featuring the top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and top two sides from the ICC World Cricket League.
The top two teams from this event will get to play in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Winning two matches will take Sri Lanka to 90 points, while the Windies will at best reach 88 points even if it wins its one-off ODI against Ireland on September 13 as well as all five matches of its series in England from September 19-29.
However, a 4-1 win for India will see Sri Lanka finish at 88 points and the Caribbean side could edge it on decimal points if they win all their upcoming six matches.
The West Indies side will go out of contention if it loses to Ireland as from there it will at best reach 86 points and remain behind Sri Lanka on decimal points, even if Sri Lanka lose 0-5 to India.