AB confirmed as world's best

AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)
AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - South Africa captain AB de Villiers has regained the number-one ranking on the ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen as he moved up one place at the end of the three-match series against India, which ended on Wednesday.

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The latest rankings update was released on Thursday, a day after the final match in the series was washed out to hand the home team a 2-0 series win. The series win has resulted in a number of South African players making a move in the right direction in both the batting and bowling lists.

Leading the way is De Villiers, who had started the series in second spot behind India’s Virat Kohli, trailing by 17 ratings points on the ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen. But now De Villiers at 872 has not only regained the number-one rank, he has also opened up a 13 ratings points lead over Kohli.

De Villiers, who scored 189 runs in three completed innings during the series, was the second highest run-getter on either side with a top score of 109 in the final match.

De Villiers, who was named in both the ICC Test and ODI Teams of the Year in 2013, now heads both the Test and ODI batting tables. De Villiers had also been shortlisted for the People's Choice Award this year.

De Villiers is the third batsman from South Africa after Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla to head the Test and ODI batting tables at the same time, and the ninth player overall. Amla achieved the distinction in February this year when he topped the charts after the Johannesburg Test against Pakistan.

Amla, on the other hand, has moved up a place to third in the batting list.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has made the biggest gain in the latest rankings following his three successive hundreds in the series, jumping 61 places to a career-best 14th with a best-ever 672 ratings points.

De Kock became only the fifth batsman in history to score three successive ODI hundreds, to thereby end as the highest run-getter in the series with 342 runs.

Outside the top 20, the batsmen to move up include JP Duminy in 24th (up by three), David Miller in 45th (up by 12) and Ravindra Jadeja in 71st (up by one).

Meanwhile, South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn has continued his upward move in the rankings for ODI bowlers. Steyn has moved up three positions to second after claiming six wickets in the two ODIs that he played.

Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal continues to be number-one ranked on the rankings for ODI bowlers.

The other two South Africa bowlers inside the top 10 are Lonwabo Tsotsobe in eighth (up by two) and Morné Morkel in ninth.

Meanwhile, Ryan McLaren has entered the top 20 of the bowling ranking for the first time, as he moved up two places to sit in 20th.

Outside the top 20, the bowlers to advance up the rankings include Mohammed Shami in 43rd (up by seven) and Ishant Sharma in 51st (up by 16).

Meanwhile, both South Africa and India retained their pre-series ranking on the ICC ODI Team Rankings table.

India dropped two ratings points owing to the 0-2 series loss to end at 120 ratings points, while South Africa continue to be in fifth place with 110 ratings points, with a gain of three points.

South Africa started the series with an opportunity to move up a place to fourth, ahead of Sri Lanka, but only if they swept the series 3-0. A washout in the final match meant that South Africa retained their pre-series ranking of No 5.
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