Aussies could regain No.1 ODI crown

Australia a chance for top 50-over mantle with big series win in India

A comprehensive series win over India would put Australia back on top of the ICC ODI rankings, with the first match between the two one-day heavyweights set for Sunday in Chennai.

The Aussies would need to win the five-match series by a margin of 4-1 or better, to return to the No.1 ranking for the first time since being dethroned by South Africa in February.

The Proteas took the ODI crown from the Aussies when they defeated Sri Lanka 5-0 in a series whitewash during a streak of 12 consecutive wins, and Faf du Plessis' team remain top on 119 points.

But Australia can retake the top mantle with four wins in this series, which would see them move to 120 ranking points, one clear of the Proteas.

I'm excited to be back in the group: Faulkner

Allrounder James Faulkner says it is a good opportunity for Australia to test themselves against one of the best limited-overs teams, in their own country.

"It's tough conditions here in Chennai. It's hot," he said

"The boys are eager to get out there and play some good cricket. It's going to be a good series.

"Last time we were here, it was some good, tough cricket. We are all excited."

Steve Smith's side currently sits in second spot in the team rankings, just a fraction of a point clear of third-placed India, who face the same scenario as Australia if they are to ascend to the top of the rankings.

Meanwhile, two-time world champs West Indies face an arduous task of trying to directly qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

The Windies are currently eight points behind eighth-placed Sri Lanka, whom they will need to overtake in order to automatically qualify for the tournament.

Jason Holder's men will play a one-off limited-overs match against Ireland tomorrow, before a five-match ODI series against England, and will need to win five of the six games if they are to secure an automatic place in the World Cup.

Australia's five-match ODI series against India begins on September 17 in Chennai, with a practice match in the same city against a Board President's XI starting later today. 

Australia's Qantas Tour of India

Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.

Australia T20 squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Jason Behrendorff, Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.

India squad (first three ODIs): Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.

ODI Fixtures

September 17: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

September 21: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

September 24: Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore

September 28: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

October 1: VCA Stadium, Nagpur

T20 Fixtures

October 1: JSCA International Stadium, Ranchi

October 10: Barsapara Stadium, Guwahati

October 13: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad