Dhoni eyes top ICC ODI ranking
He is 30 points behind Adam Gilchrist and a strong showing in Lanka could allow him to overtake the Australian.india Updated: Aug 12, 2006 18:20 IST
Mahendra Singh Dhoni would be eyeing a return to the top of the ICC one-day batting charts when the wicketkeeper-batsman takes the field in the tri-series in Sri Lanka starting on Monday.
Dhoni had held the number one spot briefly earlier this year before a return of just 95 runs in five matches in the West Indies saw his ranking drop to fourth spot.
He is 30 rating points behind leader Adam Gilchrist and a strong showing in Sri Lanka could allow him to overtake the Australian.
The tri-series also affords an opportunity to Sachin Tendulkar to make strides in the rankings after falling out of the top 20.
The Mumbai batsman, who missed the ODI series against England, Pakistan (in Abu Dhabi) and the West Indies following shoulder surgery, has slipped to 25th and has some ground to make up in the next couple of weeks.
The series assumes significance in the lead-up to the ICC Champions Trophy as well as the World Cup next year in the West Indies.
Rahul Dravid's team, currently placed fourth in the ICC table, will be out to show that its 4-1 series loss in the Caribbean was just a temporary blip on its chart of excellent results in this form of the game over the past 12 months.
For the hosts, it will be all about maintaining the recent momentum, with a 100 per cent record in its last seven matches.
South Africa will be keen to show just why it is ranked second in the table and despite missing skipper Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis, they will be out to reduce Australia's eight-point lead at the top of the charts.
India have Yuvraj Singh (9th), Dravid (12th) and Virender Sehwag (19th) among the top 20 batsmen while Sri Lanka have Kumar Sangakkara (10th) and Sanath Jayasuriya (13th) with captain Mahela Jayawardene in 21st spot.
The Proteas will rely on Herschelle Gibbs (15th) and Boeta Dippenaar (18th).
Among the bowlers, India has three in the top 20.
Irfan Pathan, who struggled for form in the Caribbean, nevertheless remains well-placed in seventh spot, to go along with his fifth place in the all-rounder list, while Harbhajan Singh lies ninth and Ajit Agarkar is 12th.
South Africa boasts the number one ODI bowler in Shaun Pollock and the veteran is also top of the all-rounder list.
Sri Lanka will look to the usual suspects in Muttiah Muralitharan (11th) and Chaminda Vaas (joint 14th).