ICC rankings: Kohli claims 2nd spot, Bhuvneshwar breaks into top-10

Dubai: Benefitting from his return to form in the abruptly-ended West Indies series, Indian batsman Virat Kohli claimed number two slot in the ICC rankings while swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar broke into top-10 for the first time in his career.

Kohli scored 191 runs, including 127 in the final match, in India's 2-1 series win as he pushed South Africa's Hashim Amla to number three in the list, topped by Amla's compatriot AB de Villiers.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. Pic/ AFP

Indian skipper MS Dhoni was the next best India at number six (unchanged) while Shikhar Dhawan lost a place to be eighth. Left-handed Suresh Raina gained three places to move to 15th. Bhuvneshwar took only two wickets in the series but he jumped seven places to number seven, just behind Ravindra Jadeja, who slipped to sixth from fifth.

Paceman Mohammed Shami, who ended the series as the most successful bowler with 10 for 174, vaulted five places to 16th and has broken into the top 20 for the first time in his career. Off-Spinner was placed at number 18, a loss of two spots.

In the team rankings, India remain at number two with 113 points, same as South Africa, who though have a chance to snatch top spot from Australia (114) when they face New Zealand in the three-match ODI series, starting Wednesday. A 3-0 series will put South Africa ahead of the four-time world champion by one ratings point. If South Africa manages to win all the three matches against New Zealand, then it will reclaim the number-one position for the first time in five years after handing over the baton to Australia following its first-round elimination from ICC Champions Trophy 2009.

On the other side, if New Zealand wins the series, then it will leapfrog Pakistan into sixth position. Currently, both Pakistan and New Zealand are on equal points on 98 ratings points but the Black Caps are in seventh position when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.

Meanwhile, AB de Villiers of South Africa goes into the upcoming series as the number-one ranked batsman and he will be looking to build on his fine recent run of form. Overall, there are four South Africa batsmen inside the top 20, including de Villiers and Amla, with Quinton de Kock in ninth position and Francois du Plessis in 11th spot ¿ just 19 ratings points behind his team-mate.

New Zealand's top-ranked batsman is Ross Taylor who sits in 10th place in the current rankings. There are two more three New Zealanders inside the top 20, namely Kane Williamson (12th) and Martin Guptill (20th) and be eyeing positive improvements in their home series. Skipper Brendon McCullum (25th) lies 20 ratings points adrift of his team-mate Guptill (20th).

On the Players Rankings for ODI Bowlers, South African paceman Dale Steyn, will go into the series as the top-ranked bowler in 3rd place, while ninth placed Ryan McLaren is a point adrift of Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez. Kyle Mills is Black Caps leading bowler in 13th place, with Tim Southee lying a solitary ratings point outside the top 20.

Incidentally, Mount Maunganui, which is hosting the first two ODIs on Tuesday and Friday, will debut as an international venue this week. The third ODI will be played in Hamilton.

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