The Australian men’s ODI team, after being briefly dislodged by Pakistan, is back at the top of the ICC rankings following its second successive win over South Africa in Bloemfontein.
Fine centuries by David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne set up a 123-run victory for Australia in the second ODI on Saturday, helping them take a 2-0 lead in five-match series.
Australia smashed 392 for 8, their third highest ODI total, and bowled out South Africa for 269 with 8.1 overs to spare. The visitors had beaten South Africa by three wickets on Thursday and can clinch the series if they win the third ODI at the same venue on Tuesday.
Australia, with 121 rating points following the win, overtook Pakistan by one point. India, with 114 rating points, are third on the ICC rankings.
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Australian, after a few hiccups late last year, have been the dominant ODI side. They lost a closely-fought series against Sri Lanka away from home in 2022, which was followed by a humbling defeat to Zimbabwe in a dead rubber after having won the series.
However, Australia followed that with a 3-0 defeat of traditional rivals New Zealand at home and then whitewashed England 3-0 at home in November last year.
They then achieved major success, defeating India in India in March 2023, followed by successive wins against South Africa in the ongoing series.
The equations might change again with Pakistan currently playing in the Asia Cup at home and in Sri Lanka.