Team India can end up as number one ranked team across formats, highlights Wasim Jaffer

Team India can end up as number one ranked team across formats, highlights Wasim Jaffer

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Wasim Jaffer has praised India's clinical performances in all formats of cricket, touting them to claim the top spot across the board in the coming few months. Jaffer further urged New Zealand to buckle up for the third ODI and avoid the whitewash, having already lost the first two games.

The Indian cricket team has had a rollercoaster last 12 months in all three formats of the game, replete with highs and lows. The Men in Blue were largely dominant in bilateral series, albeit they did end up losing a solitary Test in England. However, the side faltered when it came to the World T20, some impressive showings propelling them to the semi-final only to be subjected to a humiliating defeat by eventual champions England. Recently, India even succumbed to a 2-1 loss in the ODI series against Bangladesh but despite all the disappointments, an overall successful year has seen the team in contention for the top spot in the ICC rankings across all three formats of the game.   

India is already the top-ranked T20I team in the world, ahead of the world champions in the format by one rating point. Later in the summer, a series victory by a margin of two games or more in the upcoming four-match Test series against Australia, labelled the Border Gavaskar Trophy, would see India leapfrogging the Kangaroos to the number-one spot in red-ball cricket as well. Presently, the team is involved in a three-match ODI series against New Zealand, with the final game of the series scheduled to be played on Tuesday in Indore. Even though the hosts have wrapped up the series by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead, the encounter holds extra significance given the winner would end up as the new top-ranked ODI team. Currently, the pair is tied with England at the top with 113 points each. 

"On the basis of the way the Indian team are playing at the moment, there is a good chance that Team India can end up as the No.1-ranked team across all formats pretty soon. In ODIs, I think India will definitely be ranked No.1," former cricket and renowned expert Wasim Jaffer was quoted saying to ESPN Cricinfo.

"New Zealand should look to fight back, they were the No.1 ranked ODI team in the world. They will definitely be disappointed with their performances for sure," he added

The first game of the series in Hyderabad had seen an exhibition of power-hitting where Shubman Gill's double-ton had steered India to a mammoth score of 349, followed by clinical bowling to restrict the Kiwis to 131/6. However, a heroic 140(78) by Michael Bracewell brought the Black Caps to within 12 runs of India's total but a lack of a rescue-act in the second ODI in Raipur meant the visitors folded for a paltry 108. A flamboyant Rohit Sharma half-century ensured the team sailed to an eight-wicket victory.

"If you take away Mitchell Bracewell's contributions, then New Zealand's bowling and batting both have been poor in both matches. They need to put in a better display otherwise they will lose the series 3-0 and it will not be a good sign for them," Jaffer stated.

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