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Raina, Bhajji find place in T20 rankings

IANS
Oct 25, 2011 at 12:14am IST

Dubai: England's Eoin Morgan and Ajantha Mendis of Sri Lanka have been rated the top batsman and bowler in the inaugural ICC T20 rankings, announced in Dubai on Monday.

Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh are the only Indians to figure in the top ten rankings of batsmen and bowlers. Raina is at the fifth place in the batsmen's rankings, while Harbhajan is ranked in ninth place among the bowlers.

Australia's Shane Watson has been ranked the top all-rounder.

Raina, Bhajji only Indians in ICC T20 rankings

Meanwhile, India are ranked fifth overall in the newly-released team rankings.

In all, Australia and South Africa have four batsmen each inside the top 20, with spinners dominating the top 10 bowlers' list. Three Pakistanis are in top 10 all-rounders' category.

In 18 T20Is, Morgan has scored 569 runs at an average of 47.41 and only former Australian batsmen Matthew Hayden (308 runs at 51.33) and Andrew Symonds (337 runs at 48.14) have better averages than the left-hander.

While Morgan is the only batsman to boast a rating of over 800 points on the day of the launch, New Zealand's Brendon McCullum and Kevin Pietersen of England are close on his heels in second and third position.

McCullum is on 799 ratings points while Pietersen is sitting on 793 ratings points.

The 26-year-old Mendis leads the bowling field, followed by England's Graeme Swann and Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal.

Mendis' bowling figures of six for 16 against Australia in Pallekele on 8 August 2011 stands as the best bowling figures in T20Is to date.

"I feel honoured and humbled to be ranked as the top bowler in a list, which includes some of the finest current bowlers," he said.

The salient feature of the bowlers' ranking is that seven spinners figure inside the top 10.

New Zealand's left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori, who has recently retired from the shortest version of the game, said: "I believe spin bowlers have adapted to T20 cricket better than most. To see spinners succeed in a tough environment is great for the game and means bowlers can enjoy Twenty20 cricket, most of the time."

Among all-rounders, Watson has former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi and teammate David Hussey behind him at second and third position.

"With so many fantastic players in world cricket, it is a great honor to be recognised as the number-one all-rounder in the international Twenty20 cricket," he said.

Meanwhile, reigning World Twenty20 champions England are the No.1 ranked side in the new Twenty20 International team rankings.

England, who are also the top-ranked Test side, have 127 rating points and lead second-placed Sri Lanka by just one rating point.

England's T20 skipper Stuart Broad said they are delighted to be top-ranked team.

"The England team is delighted to be the number-one ranked international Twenty20 team in world cricket at this time, but we're certainly under no illusions that we must continue to work hard and improve if we're to stay on top of the tree," he said.

"We relish the chance to represent our country in the shortest form of the game and I know the England players are already looking forward to the challenge of defending our ICC World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka in less than 12 months time."

Only six rating points separate the next four sides, with New Zealand occupying third position on 117, followed by South Africa, inaugural Twenty20 winners in 2007 India, and Australia.

The 2009 champions Pakistan are in seventh place.

"The launch of the T20I rankings will generate even more interest in the shortest format and will help to give more context to bilateral T20Is," ICC general manager (Cricket) David Richardson said in a statement.

The T20I table reflects all T20Is played since August 2009. All T20Is played until the start of next August will be added to this table.

Teams that have played eight or more T20Is since August 2009 have been included on the table.

Bangladesh, along with Associate Members Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland, who have T20I status, will all join the table as soon as they have played sufficient matches to qualify for a ranking.

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