Virat Kohli and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are India’s highest-ranked batsman and bowler in third and 13th positions respectively with the defending champions entering the 11th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup as the second-ranked side on the ODI Team Rankings.
Other India batsmen to feature inside the top 25 include Shikhar Dhawan (seventh), Dhoni (ninth), Rohit Sharma (13th) and Suresh Raina (25th).
Apart from Kumar, India boasts Ravindra Jadeja (14th), Ravichandran Ashwin (21st) and Mohammad Shami (24th) inside the top 25.
A lot will be on line as only 26 ratings points separate the top eight-ranked ODI sides with Australia launching its campaign to win its fifth ICC Cricket World Cup title as the number one ranked side on the ODI Team Rankings.
Australia enjoys a comfortable six-point advantage over its closest rival and defending champion India, which squares off against traditional rival and seventh-ranked Pakistan at the Oval here.
Interestingly, Australia had also started as the top-ranked side in the 2011 World Cup in the subcontinent. But it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side that lifted the trophy in Mumbai after entering the competition in second position and 12 ratings points behind Australia.
Australia will feature on the opening day of the event on Saturday in Melbourne when it locks horns with arch-rivals England, which currently sits in fifth position, while co-host and sixth-ranked New Zealand will open the showpiece event with a clash with former champion and fourth-placed Sri Lanka, who are just five ratings points adrift.
On Sunday, in Hamilton, third-ranked South Africa takes on continental rival Zimbabwe, which is currently sitting in 10th position and trailing the title favourites by 55 ratings points.
Two-time former champion and eight-ranked West Indies will meet 12th-ranked Ireland in Nelson on Monday with 60 ratings points separating the two sides.