India v England, 5th ODI, Dharamsala January 27, 2013

India scrape to No. 1 ranking in ODIs

ESPNcricinfo staff

India have reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in one-day internationals for the first time in three years. by finishing 0.20 rating points ahead of England after their 3-2 victory in the ODI series.

India had become the top ranked side after winning the third ODI on January 19 and held onto the spot, aided by South Africa's loss in their home series against New Zealand.

But they ended the series by being beaten, losing by seven wickets in Dharamsala, India's highest international venue. MS Dhoni had lost the toss on a chilly morning and England's fast bowlers struck three times in the first ten overs and reduced the hosts to 79 for 5 in the 22nd over.

"It was a bad toss to lose. Initially, in places like Dharamsala or Guwahati, where you have an early start, the ball does a bit," Dhoni said. "But this is good exposure for the younger batsman about how to play when the ball is seaming and swinging. The wicket eased out during the second half and it became easier for batting."

The fourth wicket of that top-order collapse was Gautham Gambhir, who cut James Tredwell to Ian Bell at point and was caught on 24. The dismissal continued a lean run for Gambhir, who had failed to pass 20 in the three ODIs against Pakistan. He began this series with a half-century in Rajkot but made only 8, 33 and 10 in three matches before Dharamsala.

"Yeah, he [Gambhir] has been going through a lean patch but he is an experienced player. I believe he has batted a bit better in the last few games," Dhoni said. "Unlike some of the earlier matches, he didn't look tentative and was a lot more decisive about stroke-making. "I believe he is improving and don't forget he is an amazing player of spin bowling. Ideally, we want him to bat till the 35th-40th over."

Another concern for India is the form of offspinner R Ashwin, who took 0 for 50 in Dharamsala and finished the series with seven wickets at 35.71 apiece. He was outbowled by left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and England offspinner Tredwell. Dhoni said Ashwin's poor returns could be because of his excessive use of variations.

"Maybe he was using variations a bit too much but he has now realised his mistake," Dhoni said. "In the last couple of matches, he has been more consistent about length. He has not used too many variations and was trying to bowl to one line. The new ODI rules, with five fielders inside the circle, has also made it slightly difficult."

India don't play one-day cricket for quite some time now, with Australia touring for four Tests in February and March, followed by the IPL in April and May.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ashok on January 30, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    @Nish_US: You are not the only one who does not understands Dhoni- his team selection, tactics on & off the field. You say "Dhoni could keep Pujara off the sub contenental pitches but he will definitely need him in Aus, England"- that is if he is still the Captain!. You are too optimistic when you say Pujara "did not get too upset by missing out in ODI's as well as in Ranji Final". It is heart breaking for any youngster to be given a double Whammy!. Nobody is so thick skinned not to be seriously hurt when he was dragged away from his 2 triple centurioes in a row, then benched for ODI & deprived of being able to help his own state due to spiteful MSD!. I am sure Pujara would have got at least a century in Ranji Final if not a triple century.

  • Nish on January 30, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    I am sorry to say this.. but I am happy that India lost the last ODI where the ball was doing a bit...

    It exposed the technique of batsman, whom Dhoni could draft into the team without have to think twice... a peek at what lies ahead....

    Hope dhoni realises that you need horses for the courses, and gets Pujara into the team asap.

  • Nish on January 30, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    I do not understand Dhoni, ... when he had Irfan available and playing well in the couple of chances he got... he rues - "india need a good allrounder"... then in Dharmasala he got the ball doing little bit.. keeps the one with best technique and form out of the team and rues "difficult conditions - good exposure for the youngsters"... It is good exposure if they tried to apply themselves...try to stay put, grind.. and spent some time on the field... How is it a good exposure if you get out in the first 10 balls you face.

  • Nish on January 30, 2013, 18:58 GMT


    Dhoni could keep Pujara away on sub-continent pitches, but he will definitely need him in AUS, ENG... he is still un-tested in foreign conditions, but looks to have the best defence compared to every one else in the team.... Still a bit tentative compared to the likes of Dravid though.

    Hope he did not get too upset by missing out in the ODIs as well as the Ranji final, where he could have done a world of difference to his State team.....

    He must have seen a lot of politics on his way to the test team, so hopefully this did not hurt his emotions or confidence

  • Nish on January 30, 2013, 18:41 GMT


    No.1 ranked team does not mean that they will beat every one below fair and square wherever they play.

    Look at Tennis, there are few No.1s who never won any grandslams, and there are few that one grandslams but never made it to No.1 ever. Not every No.1 will be a Sampras or Federer (that was WIs in 80s and Aus in the 90s).

    India at the moment is the ODI world champion and the current world No.1 at THIS MOMENT.

    Whether Indians gloat or Eng complain, that is the fact as of this minute... It can (will) all change tomorrow, but for today that is the FACT.

  • Harmon on January 30, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    @TheVillain: Your comment goes to show just how biased you ppl are and how blindly you try to make such disparaging comments.

    FYI, since 1st Jan 2010, India have the BEST W/L Ratio among all the major ODI playing nations when we ignore the matches played with the weak teams of BD & Zim.

    India's W/L Ratio is 1.66 while SA come 2nd with a ratio of 1.5. England are 3rd with 1.26 & SL are 4th with 1.05.

    Incidentally, Pak's W/L ratio is less than 1 at 0.7. BAHAHAHA and they keep beating their chest that they are one of the best ODI teams in the world. Grow up kids, when it comes to the men's club you are seen as adolescents. All you got is winning 9 matches vs poor BD & Zim - that's all you can do, beat the weaker teams. This also puts to rest those comments which say that Ind earn points by beating weaker teams - it is PAK that does that not India.

    In this time window, India have won the most ODIS vs the stronger ODI teams + they also won the WC.

    This is why they are worthy #1s.

  • Mike on January 30, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    ha! India as number 1 their win ratio in ODIs for the past year or 2 is like 50% that's not a number 1 team plus lost to teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh during that time. Ranking system is a bogus sorry to say a joke when compared to other sports.

  • Al on January 30, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    Very well said in this article - Another concern for India is the form of offspinner R Ashwin, who took 0 for 50 in Dharamsala and finished the series with seven wickets at 35.71 apiece. He was outbowled by left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and England offspinner Tredwell. Dhoni said Ashwin's poor returns could be because of his excessive use of variations. Ashwin's variations make him a good T20 bowler, but the same variations make him toothless in Tests and ODI. It's time to try another spinner in ODI - maybe Nadeem of Jharkhand, or Parvez Rassol of Kashmir?

  • Kris on January 30, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    Whether ICC Rankings or WC win, what matters is how well you perform while clinging on to that position. Ranking mechanism somehow doesn't allow much liberty. Still it too often flatters to deceive, thanks to manipulative tactics. Only WI and Oz have managed to hold such positions with enough dignity. Currently, SA look the best outfit. Perhaps too much emphasis on quota robbed them off some impact players.

  • Indian on January 30, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    @bobmartin - I hear a lot of "Englands plan for future" and "managed transition" of players and blah blah blah... if the system is so fantastic why no ODI world cups yet?