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Bond in top ten

Bond is now among the best after a successful series against Sri Lanka. The visitors also made some gains.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 11:17 IST

Shane Bond has surged into the top ten of the LG ICC Player Rankings after continuing his comeback from injury with a successful ODI series against Sri Lanka.

Bond, who is returning to action after a long-term back problem, missed the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy matches against Australia because of a groin strain. But now fit and firing once again, his nine wickets in four matches against Marvan Atapattu's side have lifted him four places to 10th in the bowling list, according to an ICC statement in Dubai.

Bond, the quickest New Zealand bowler to reach 50 ODI wickets (and the eighth quickest of all-time), has only once had a higher tally of rating points than his current mark of 692.

That was after taking 2-7 against Pakistan in Dambulla in May 2003, the match where he broke down with the back injury that took two years out of his international career. At that stage he had 711 rating points.

Bond's form with the ball underlined one reason why New Zealand won three of the four matches they played against Sri Lanka over the New Year period -- their bowling.

They have five bowlers in the top 30 places of the LG ICC Player Rankings. In addition to Bond, Daniel Vettori is in seventh spot, Kyle Mills is at 15, Jacob Oram appears at 17 and Scott Styris is in 30th position.

That contrasts in a very stark way with Sri Lanka's representation in that same list.

But apart from that duo they have only one other bowler in the top 40 positions, Nuwan Zoysa in 28th spot -- and he was dropped for the New Zealand tour.

It is a similar story for Sri Lanka with the bat. Kumar Sangakkara is eighth in the LG ICC Player Rankings for batsmen, up two places during the series, and captain Atapattu is also heading in the right direction, up six spots to 11th.

But apart from that duo their next batsman in the list is Sanath Jayasuriya down in 25th and he is now injured with a recurrence of a shoulder injury.

New Zealand, in all fairness, are hardly dominating the batting list either and their highest ranked player is captain Stephen Fleming in 27th spot.

Further down that list are a couple of positive moves by batsmen on either side. Tillakaratne Dilshan is up seven places to 57th and Peter Fulton, who made his maiden ODI hundred in Napier, is at 66. Both have career-best tallies of rating points.

In the LG ICC ODI Championship table, Sri Lanka's horror run -- they have now lost nine of their last 11 matches -- means they now face the very real prospect of having to play in the preliminary round of this year's ICC Champions Trophy in India.

Their poor form has relegated them to seventh place in the latest table and if they are still there on 1 April, then they will have to play in that preliminary round for the right to take part in the next round of the tournament.

First Published: Jan 09, 2006 11:17 IST