The Indian women’s team will jump to the fourth spot in the One-Day International (ODI) championship ladder if they beat Australia 3-0 in a series starting in Canberra from February 2, an ICC official said here on Sunday.
Australia currently have the same number of points as the West Indies and are joint leaders in the chart with 16 points from nine matches. The West Indies have played three more matches. A series win against India will give them the sole possession of the top spot, said an International Cricket Council (ICC) release.
India are at the seventh place with five points from nine games.
The top four sides from the ICC Women’s Championship will gain automatic qualification for the event proper, which is to be staged in England from 4-27 August. The bottom four sides will get a final chance of qualification through the World Cup Qualifier in 2017.
Australia are keen to win this series, but they have an eye on the bigger picture as well.
Captain Meg Lanning, who won the women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year 2015 in December and is the number-one ranked batswoman, said on Sunday: “We’ve got two big series coming up against India and New Zealand which should place us really well heading into the upcoming ICC Women’s World Twenty20.”
“We look forward to testing ourselves – and hopefully cementing our top spot in the ICC Women’s Championship – before getting ready to defend our title in India. We’re raring to go.”
Coach Matthew Mott added his players were in top form.
“It’s been a big summer for women’s cricket in Australia, which has given our players great preparation leading into our upcoming series against India at home.”
“It’s an exciting time for women’s cricket and we’ve got a number of opportunities for players to put their hand up and press for Australia selection for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20.”
India are yet to win a series in the championship to date, having lost to New Zealand and South Africa at home by an identical margin of 1-2, and to England 2-0.
It is Mithali Raj and her side’s first trip to Australia in seven years and the number-six ranked batswoman believes her side can improve.
“India definitely is not in the position we would like to be in and it will be our earnest endeavour to get to being one of the top teams,” the top-order willower said on Sunday.
“We do have a lot of young talent and the experience in Jhulan (Goswami) and me to combine well and get to the top places where India should belong and that is our mission Down under. It will be a tough and a challenging series and we want to give it all and our efforts should and will improve the rankings.”
Number-one ranked ODI bowler Goswami needs eight wickets to become all-time leading wicket-taker.