Mitchell Starc Surges To Number One

Australia’s Mitchell Starc has surged to the top of the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI Bowlers for the first time in his career following stellar performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 that also fetched him the player of the tournament award.  The 25-year-old left-arm fast bowler finished ICC’s pinnacle 50-over tournament as joint-leading wicket-taker with New Zealand’s Trent Boult with 22 wickets, including two for 20 in eight overs in the final against New Zealand.  This performance has helped Starc to rise two places and claim the number-one position for the first time.

Starc had entered the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in seventh positon and during the course of the tournament, he gained 147 ratings points.  He currently sits on 783 rating points, which is also his career-best rating and was achieved during the final played in front of over 93 000 spectators.  Boult has also made gains in the latest rankings following his excellent run in the tournament.

The left-arm fast bowler has vaulted nine places to jump to career-high sixth position – a place he shares with Australia’s Mitchell Johnson, who has also moved up by two places.  South Africa’s wrist spinner Imran Tahir has also finished the series in a career-best second position.  Tahir had started in 11th position and has leapfrogged nine places, thanks to his 15 wickets in eight matches.

Australia’s James Faulkner, who was adjudged the player of the final, has also made an upward movement along with India’s Umesh Yadav.  Yadav has broken into the top 20 for the first time in his career following his 15 wickets in the series, including 4/72 in the semi-final against Australia.  Yadav has rocketed 16 places to join England’s James Tredwell in 18th position.

Faulkner’s 10 wickets in the series has put him climb 12 positions to a career-high 23rd position with a career-high 585 ratings points, which he gained in the final against New Zealand.  In the ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen, South Africa captain AB De Villiers has become the 11th batsman overall, and second South African after Hashim Amla, to break the 900-point mark.  In ranking terms, 900 points marks out a player as truly great.

De Villiers achieved the milestone during the semi-final against New Zealand when he scored 65 not out.  He is now eighth on the list behind Viv Richards (935), Zaheer Abbas (931), Greg Chappell (921), David Dower (919), Dean Jones (918), Javed Miandad (910) and Brian Lara (908).  Desmond Haynes (900) completes the tally of 11 batsmen.

There is no change in the top five batters but the biggest movers in the latest rankings are Steve Smith and Martin Guptill, who were yesterday named in the Team of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.  Smith finished the series with 402 runs with one century and four half-centuries, while Guptill belted the highest World Cup individual score to date while scoring 237 not out on the way to finishing as the leading run-getter with 547 runs.  As a result, Smith has jumped 19 places to a career-high 12th position, while Guptill has finished in 22nd place after rising 12 places.

India opener Rohit Sharma has also headed in the right direction after achieving a career-best ranking of 12th.  Rohit scored 330 runs in the series for which he has been rewarded with a jump of seven places.  The curtain fell on the ODI careers of Michael Clarke, Brendan Taylor, Misbah-ul-Haq, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.

Clarke finished his career in 29th spot (up by three places), Taylor 20th (down by four places), Misbah in 12th (up by one place), Sangakkara (second) and Jayawardene 34th (down by five places).  In the ICC Player Rankings for ODI All-rounders, Tillakaratne Dilshan has retained his top spot, followed by Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh.  The only change in the top 10 was the entry of South Africa’s JP Duminy, who has moved up four places to ninth spot.

Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi has signed off on his ODI career as sixth ranked all-rounder.  In the batting chart, he was 44th while 30th in bowling table.  Meanwhile, Australia has retained the ODI Shield and has also won USD$175 000 after finishing as the number-one ranked ODI side at the 1 April cut-off date.  India has collected USD$75 000 for finish second.