Dubai: Pakistan’s stranglehold at the top of the ICC Men’s ODI Batter Rankings is under threat after a large group of India players made ground on the latest update following their unbeaten start to the Asia Cup.
India are yet to taste defeat at the Asia Cup and much of their success has been down to a dominant top order that has been led superbly by Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli and skipper Rohit Sharma.
Gill already has two half-centuries at the tournament and a total of 154 runs and the right-hander has been rewarded in the latest rankings by rising to a career-best second-placed with just Pakistan skipper Babar Azam ahead of him.
And Gill has closed the margin considerably on the Pakistan captain, with the gap at the top down to just 103 rating points now with Babar leading the way on 863 rating points and the India opener with 759 points, an ICC report on Wednesday said.
Gill isn’t the only India star on the move, with Kohli rising two places to eighth and Rohit jumping two spots of his own to ninth on the latest batter rankings, which means India has three players inside the top 10 for the first time in more than four and a half years.
You have to go way back to the start of 2019 to find the last time India had three players this high in the rankings for ODI batters, with opener Shikhar Dhawan joining Rohit and Virat inside the top 10 way back in January of that year.
Pakistan do still have three players of their own inside the top 10 batters, but Imam-ul-Haq drops one place to fifth and fellow opener Fakhar Zaman loses three spots and is now 10th.
Experienced India spinner Kuldeep Yadav has also made some ground on the updated list for ODI bowlers, with the left-armer rising five places to seventh on the back of his nine wickets at the Asia Cup and teammate Hardik Pandya improving four places to sixth on the ODI all-rounder rankings.
There was also some joy for Pakistan’s bowlers on the rankings update, with pace duo Haris Rauf (up eight places to 21st) and Naseem Shah (up 11 spots to equal 51st) improving dramatically despite picking up a niggling injuries during their most recent encounter against India.
Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood increases his lead at the top of the ODI bowler rankings following a three-wicket haul in the first match of their ongoing series with South Africa, while a host of his teammates and Proteas stars also make ground.
South Africa duo Keshav Maharaj (up 10 places to 25th) and Tabraiz Shamsi (up 15 spots to equal 29th) improve on the list for ODI bowlers, while Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma jumps a whopping 21 places to 11th and a new career-high rating on the rankings for ODI batters following his impressive century in that series opener in Bloemfontein.
Australia veteran David Warner jumps one place to fourth on the updated batter rankings after his quickfire half-century in the third match of the South Africa series, while fellow left-hander Travis Head shoots up six spots to 20th on the same list.
While T20I cricket is taking somewhat of a backseat during the lead-up to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India, there is some movement on the rankings following the completion of England’s home series against New Zealand.
Kiwi dasher Glenn Phillips is the most prominent mover as he rises three places to 11th on the updated rankings for T20I batters, while teammates Tim Seifert (up 32 to 21st) and Mark Chapman (up six places to equal 23rd) make ground on the same list.
New Zealand compatriots Mitchell Santner (up four places to 15th) and Ish Sodhi (up four spots to 16th) are the big movers on the updated T20I bowler rankings, while England veteran Jonny Bairstow improves a massive 31 places to 30th on the list for batters following his quickfire 73 in the final match of that series.