Dubai: Riding on their 3-0 clean sweep against Sri Lanka, Indian women's team has jumped two places from seventh to the fifth spot in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) Women's Championship standings which was released on Thursday.
Indian Women's Cricket team's captain Mithali Raj
The significance of the ICC Women's Championship lies in the fact that it is a qualifying tournament for the World Cup to be held in July, 2017.
The top four sides from the ICC Women's Championship will obtain automatic qualification for the event proper to be staged in England, while the bottom four sides will get a final chance of qualification through the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier earlier in 2017.
India are still not assured of a World Cup 2017 qualification spot. Mithali Raj's side will need to win both its final two rounds against the West Indies and Pakistan to put pressure on the other leading contenders.
India, meanwhile, was impressive against Australia, pulling one game back against the top-ranked side in an away series. This was followed by a three-nil series win against Sri Lanka at home.
The ICC Women's Championship has a clear leader in world champion Australia after an exciting month of one-day cricket, which featured seven of the eight sides in the competition. Australia, which will be aiming for its fourth straight ICC Women's World Twenty20 title in India later this month, entered the latest round of matches as Championship co-leaders with the West Indies.
But two series wins against India and New Zealand has helped it to break-away from the Caribbean side, which is now trailing by four points.
Australia beat India and New Zealand by an identical 2-1 margin to earn eight out of a possible 12 points on offer. Meg Lannings's side came from a match down to beat New Zealand and retain the Rose bowl title for the 14th time.
Australia now has two rounds of matches remaining, which will be again South Africa and Sri Lanka. West Indies has secured second position with a 2-1 win over South Africa. The Caribbean side's remaining two series are against fifth-placed India and sixth-placed England.
The Proteas hold on to fourth spot in the Championship table despite losing both outings against England and the West Indies. In ICC ODI Women's Player rankings, Australian captain Meg Lanning held on to her number-one spot in the women's batting rankings, while Bates has retained her second position and India captain Mithali Raj is in third.
Amongst the bowlers, India's Jhulan Goswami has held her number-one position.