ODI rankings: Ponting remains top batsman

Published: Saturday, December 22, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Dubai: Australian captain Ricky Ponting's two unbeaten ceturies against New Zealand in the Chappell-Hadlee series saw him leave his peers miles behind on top of the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen.

In a potentially difficult series for Australia with New Zealand having won it 3-0 last time, the Australian captain, ever the man for the big occasion, stepped up and dominated proceedings, making sure his side took the series 2-0, with the third match being abandoned due to rain.

It was a case of two innings and two unbeaten centuries for Ponting, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Wednesday, as he scored a total of 241 runs at a strike-rate of exactly a run a ball.

When he is in that kind of form there is little the opposition bowlers can do about it.

Ponting, who just keeps going from strength to strength, has now smashed his career-best rating as he moves to 832 ratings points.

Only five batsmen in this current decade have enjoyed a better rating than him.

They are: Michael Hussey (Australia, 863 points in 2007), Matthew Hayden (Australia, 854 points in 2003), Sourav Ganguly (India, 844 points in 2000), Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka, 838 points in 2003) and Kevin Pietersen (England, 834 points in 2007).

Apart from those immediate targets, there is still plenty else for Ponting to aim for, including the record for the highest points rating in history being held by West Indies legend Viv Richards, who managed to get to 935 rating points in 1985.

Ponting is currently 60 points clear of team-mate Andrew Symonds in second position and Adam Gilchrist, who scored a quick-fire half-century in the first ODI against New Zealand at Adelaide, is up three places to 11th spot.

But it is not all good news for Australia with Hussey, Hayden and Michael Clarke all having slipped slightly in the latest rankings.

Among the bowlers, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has dropped out of the top five having gone wicketless in the Chappell-Hadlee series and Australia's left-arm wrist spinner Brad Hogg has fallen four places and out of the top 10.

Black Caps' fast bowler Kyle Mills has also slipped four places to 16th position while Australia's Brett Lee gained two places after a fine series performance.

The 31-year-old New South Welshman took seven wickets at an average of 15.28 and this has moved him up past Hogg and South Africa's Makhaya Ntini.

Australia's Shaun Tait is also a man on the move. He jumped up 11 places during the series and is close to breaking into the top 30 for the first time in his career.

There is no change in the top five of the LG ICC Rankings for ODI all-rounders with Scott Styris and Jacob Oram failing to move up from sixth and seventh positions respectively.

The series win has also strengthened Australia's position at the top of the LG ICC ODI Championship table and it is now six points clear of South Africa in second place.

New Zealand slips one ratings point but remains third in the table.

It's very close mid-table with just five ratings points separating the Black Caps in third and England in seventh position and plenty of movement is expected over the coming few weeks.

LG ICC ODI Championship:

Teams: 1. Australia 130; 2. South Africa 124; 3. New Zealand 112; 4. India 110 5. Sri Lanka 108; 6. Pakistan 107; 7. England 107; 8. West Indies 100; 9. Bangladesh 48; 10. Ireland 28; 11. Zimbabwe 19; 12. Kenya 0

Top 10 Batsmen: 1. Ricky Ponting (Aus) 832; 2. Andrew Symonds (Aus) 773; 3. Kevin Pietersen (Eng) 748; 4. Matthew Hayden (Aus) 745; 5. Mohd. Yousuf (Pak) 742; 6. Graeme Smith (SA) 741; 7. Sachin Tendulkar (Ind) 736; Herschelle Gibbs (SA) 736; 9. Mike Hussey (Aus) 727; 10. Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI) 725

Top 10 Bowlers: 1. Shaun Pollock (SA) 863; 2. Shane Bond (NZ) 767; 3. Nathan Bracken (Aus) 726; 4. Chaminda Vaas (SL) 717; 5. Muttiah Muralitharan (SL) 712; 6. Daniel Vettori (NZ) 705; 7. Brett Lee (Aus) 689; 8. Makhaya Ntini (SA) 672; 9. Jerome Taylor (WI) 665; 10. Farvez Maharoof (SL) 664

Top Five All-rounders: 1. Shaun Pollock (SA) 481; 2. Sanath Jayasuriya (SL) 363; 3. Andrew Flintoff (Eng) 354; 4. Chris Gayle (WI) 353; 5. Jacques Kallis (SA) 326


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