Trailing 0-1 to Australia on tour, Rohit Sharma-led India bounced back in style to level the series in Nagpur before 50-year-olds Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav in Sunday’s decider sealed a 2-1 victory .
The final six-wicket win improved their standings by one point to 268 points, a seven-point lead over nearest rivals England in the ICC T20 rankings released on Monday.
The next three-game series against South Africa will give India a chance to cement their lead at the top ahead of the World Cup in Australia.
The Proteas sit third in the team standings with 258 points but could claim their right in the next series starting in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.
Incidentally, it was Pakistan’s narrow three-point win over England in Game 4 in Karachi on Sunday that helped India extend their lead.
This series remains tied at two games apiece, with plenty of ranking points still to play in the last three games in Lahore.
Pakistan are currently tied with South Africa for third place in the team standings on 258 points, but could rise to second place by winning the remaining three matches against England.
England, meanwhile, will retain their second place in the standings should they win either of these contests.
Defending World Cup champions Australia, who are seeded sixth, dropped a point to 250 after their series loss to India.
Australia need to play six matches – against West Indies, England and India (warm-up) – before they have a chance to defend their trophy at home.