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13-Jun-2017 11:02:00 GMT
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Kohli and Hazlewood achieve number-one rankings

Dubai: India captain Virat Kohli has reclaimed the top batting spot, while Australia’s pace ace Josh Hazlewood has achieved the number-one position in the bowlers’ rankings for the first time in his career in the latest MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings release by ICC, which were released on Tuesday.

Kohli had entered the tournament at third position -- 22 points behind number-one ranked AB de Villiers of South Africa and 19 points behind Australia’s David Warner. However, following knocks of 81 not out against Pakistan and 76 not out against South Africa, he has leapfrogged de Villiers and Warner into the number-spot.

Kohli, who is ahead of David Warner by just one point, had enjoyed just four days at the top in January 2017, but will now be aiming to do better when he faces Bangladesh in the second semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday.

India’s opener Shikhar Dhawan has continued his love-affair with the ICC Champions Trophy by returning into the top 10. The left-hander has vaulted five places to 10th following scores of 68 against Pakistan, 125 against Sri Lanka and 78 against South Africa

Dhawan’s rise means his team-mates Rohit Sharma and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni have slipped one place each to 13th and 14th, respectively, while Yuvraj Singh has gained six places and is now in 88th spot.

Fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has led the charge of India’s bowlers by vaulting 13 places to share 23rdspot with Afghanistan’s Hamza Hotak. Umesh Yadav has gained two places and is now 41st, while Jasprit Bumrah is 43rd after rising three places.

However, India’s spinners have slipped in the latest rankings with Ravichandran Ashwin dropping two places to 20th and Ravindra Jadeja falling three places to 29th.

Away from the ICC Champions Trophy, West Indies and Afghanistan are involved in a three-match ODI series, which is presently locked at one-all. Following Afghanistan’s shocking win in the opening match, wrist spinner Rashid Khan has rocketed 18 places to seventh place after claiming seven for 18.

The defeat in St Lucia on 9 June has severely dented ninth-ranked the West Indies as it has dropped from 79 points to 77 points in the MRF Tyes ICC ODI Team Rankings. Even if it wins the series-decider on 14 June, it will finish on 78 points, which is not good news considering 30 September is the cut-off date for automatic qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

As England plus the next seven highest-ranked sides as on 30 September will qualify directly, the West Indies’ 9 June loss plus Pakistan’s victories against highest-ranked South Africa and Sri Lanka means Pakistan is now ahead of the West Indies by 14 points.

Meanwhile, there is no change in the rankings of the top three sides following 12 matches in the ICC Champions Trophy, though number-one ranked South Africa has dropped three points and second-ranked Australia has conceded one point.

However, England has swapped places with New Zealand and is now ranked fourth, three points ahead of the Black Caps.

In the upcoming matches, India will have a chance to top the table. But for that to happen, it will not only want to face England in the final but also need to retain the title. In this scenario, Kohli’s side will join South Africa on 119 points but will be ranked ahead of the Proteas by a fraction of a point.

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