Ashwin said that Pakistan have developed into a formidable side and beating them would not be easy.

In a thrilling encounter, Pakistan sealed the ongoing ODI series against Afghanistan. Pakistan finds itself on the verge of ascending to the top spot in the ICC ODI Teams’ rankings. Pakistan needs just one more triumph to pull off this feat.

The latest ICC Rankings depict a striking picture as Pakistan draws level with the current leader Australia on 118 extending the gap from India in third place by five points.

In a tense match, Afghanistan couldn’t defend 300 runs against Pakistan in the second ODI. Pakistan’s relentless pursuit resulted in a one-wicket win, securing the series in the three-match contest held in Sri Lanka.

Under the leadership of Babar Azam, Pakistan’s team now gears up for the final match on August 26, a win that would propel them to the top of the ICC ODI team standings.

Australia is not conceding its top-ranking position easily. Preparing for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, the team is scheduled for eight ODI matches in September. The lineup includes a five-match ODI series in South Africa and another three-match series against India.

This effort aims to reclaim the top spot before the anticipated World Cup in October-November.

With Pakistan and India participating in the Asia Cup 2023 starting on August 30, the competition gains more intensity. The race for the top spot becomes a three-way battle. This sets the stage alive for a gripping showdown before the World Cup.

Pakistan’s strong 2023 performance boasts seven victories in ten ODI matches. They accumulated 2590 points across 22 matches in the ICC ODI Rankings. In comparison, India’s 4080 points come from 36 matches, resulting in a rating of 113.

New Zealand stakes its claim in the fourth position with a rating of 104. England and South Africa share the fifth and sixth positions with a rating of 101. West Indies finds itself in the 10th spot, trailing behind Bangladesh (7th), Sri Lanka (8th), and Afghanistan (9th).