India v/s South Africa: India remain No 2 in ODIs, Kohli rises in player rankings

Dubai (UAE) : The series loss to South Africa notwithstanding, India held on to their second spot in the team list, while star batsman Virat Kohli rose up a rung to second in the batsmen’s table of the latest ICC ODI cricket rankings issued on Monday.

South Africa retained their third position but reduced second-ranked India’s advantage to two points in the rankings following the 3-2 series victory, which concluded with a mammoth 214-run victory in Mumbai on Sunday.

The Proteas went into the series on 110 points, five adrift of MS Dhoni’s men, but AB de Villiers’ side fought back after conceding early ground to clinch the series in a dramatic final game. Meanwhile, as a consequence of the 3-2 home series defeat, Zimbabwe have stayed in 10th place, a fraction ahead of Ireland, with Afghanistan one more point behind following their historic inaugural series victory over a Test playing country.

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By stint of a series of impressive batting displays the top 10 has re-jigged and a number of Proteas batsmen have risen in the ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen. Skipper de Villiers retained his number one ranking, and is now 96 points clear of Kohli in second place, after scoring three centuries (104 not out, 112 and 119) in five matches.

Hashim Amla has dropped three places to fifth, while Dhoni has moved up two places to sixth and holds an 11-point advantage over his team-mate Shikhar Dhawan. There is a career-high jump of seven places for Faf du Plessis who is level in 10th place with wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock, up 13 places after scoring 318 runs in the series, including 103 and a match-winning 109 in the decider.

There were also gains for Rohit Sharma (up three places to 12th) and career-high gains for Ajinkya Rahane (up 11 to 27th) and Farhaan Behardien (up 12 to 76th).

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Following the series in Zimbabwe the following batsmen have also risen up the rankings; Sikandar Raza (up 14 to 40th), Sean Williams (up seven to 44th), Mohammad Nabi (up 19 to a career-high 47th) and Craig Ervine (up 19 to 61st), while Noor Ali Zadran has broken into the top 100 for the first time after vaulting 26 places to 93rd.

In the ICC Players Rankings for ODI Bowlers, Australia’s Mitchell Starc has returned to the top of tree as Imran Tahir has slipped four places in the top 10. Dale Steyn has dropped one place to sixth, although Morne Morkel has climbed three places to eighth, and is now six points behind Mitchell Johnson, after claiming seven wickets for 132 runs in three matches.

R Ashwin has dropped a place to 10th, while a number of other bowlers have made significant gains across both series including Axar Patel (up 19 to 28th), Amit Mishra (up 13 to 32nd), Dawlat Zadran (up 69 to a career-high 34th), Mohit Sharma (up four to 44th) and young Proteas paceman Kagiso Rabada has risen 58 places to a career-high 49th after being the joint-leading wicket-taker in the series alongside Steyn with 10.