Dhoni tops ODI rankings

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STELLAR SHOW: M.S. Dhoni's recent performances with the bat have catapulted him to the top of the ODI rankings. File photo: V. Ganesan
STELLAR SHOW: M.S. Dhoni's recent performances with the bat have catapulted him to the top of the ODI rankings. File photo: V. Ganesan

London: Mahendra Singh Dhoni's half century against Pakistan in the second one-dayer in Abu Dhabi propelled him to the top spot in the latest ICC one-day international rankings. Dhoni, who was second placed behind Australian captain Ricky Ponting before the two-match ODI series in the desert venue, hit 59 in India's series-levelling win in the second match.

However, the 1-1 honour in the series meant that India and Pakistan remain unchanged in the team championship table, on third and fourth places respectively.

The 24-year-old Jharkhand player, who made his ODI debut in December 2004, has made a remarkably rapid rise with his statistics providing compelling support for his position on top of the ODI charts released on Thursday.

Awesome strike-rate

In 42 matches, he averages 52.76 with two hundreds and eight fifties and, equally significantly, he has made those runs at an awesome strike-rate of 103 runs per hundred balls.

Dhoni is one of three India batsmen in the top 10 places with captain Rahul Dravid ninth (up two places) and Yuvraj Singh (10th) also featuring. Besides, injured Sachin Tendulkar is on joint 21st spot with Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya and Virender Sehwag, whose return to form with 73 has seen him move back up four places to joint 24th position, alongside England's Andrew Strauss.

Irfan Pathan remains India's top-ranked bowler after moving up one spot to third in the list with only Shaun Pollock of South Africa and Australia's Glenn McGrath ahead of him.

Pathan remains in third position in the LG ICC Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders behind Pollock and England's Andrew Flintoff but he now has his best-ever haul of rating points.

On the way up

However, several other Indian bowlers are on the way up the list. Ajit Agarkar is up four spots to 21st position, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth rises 12 places to be joint 54th (alongside Bangladesh's Manjural Islam Rana) and Ramesh Powar has broken into the top 100, up 19 places to 82nd in the LG ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers.

Pakistan has three batsmen in the top 25 with captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf in joint 15th position and Shoaib Malik in 23rd spot. Younis Khan, whose unbeaten 71 guided his side to victory on Tuesday, is up eight places to joint 44th alongside Sri Lanka's Russel Arnold.

In the team rankings, India trails second-placed South Africa by three points and is 16 points behind leader Australia while Pakistan is two points behind India.

The LG ICC ODI rankings (after the India-Pakistan series): Teams: 1. Australia (132), 2. South Africa (119), 3. India (116), 4. Pakistan (114), 5. New Zealand (113), 6. Sri Lanka (105), 7. England (103), 8. West Indies (89), 9. Zimbabwe (42), 10 Bangladesh (24), 11. Kenya (7).

Batsmen: 1. Mahendra S. Dhoni (Ind), 2. Ricky Ponting (Aus), 3. Adam Gilchrist (Aus), 4. Andrew Symonds (Aus), 5 Graeme Smith (RSA), 6. Mike Hussey (Aus), 7. Kevin Pietersen (Eng), 8. K. Sangakkara (SL), 9. Rahul Dravid (Ind), 10. Yuvraj Singh (Ind).

Bowlers: 1. Shaun Pollock (RSA), 2. Glenn McGrath (Aus), 3. Irfan Pathan (Ind), 4. Shane Bond (NZ), 5. Daniel Vettori (NZ), 6. Brett Lee (Aus), 7. M. Muralitharan (SL), 8. Nathan Bracken (Aus), 9. Chaminda Vaas (SL), 10. Harbhajan Singh (Ind).

All-rounders: 1. Shaun Pollock (RSA), 2. Andrew Flintoff (Eng), 3. Irfan Pathan (Ind), 4. Andrew Symonds (Aus), 5. Shoaib Malik (Pak). PTI, UNI

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