India pacer Mohammed Siraj became number one bowler in the ICC rankings for ODI bowlers on Wednesday, a testament to his meteoric rise in international cricket. Siraj passed New Zealand’s Trent Boult and Australian sailor Josh Hazlewood to become the top ranked ODI bowler for the first time ever. Siraj’s form over the past 12 months has not only been imperious, but his effort in the ODI series at home earlier this month against Sri Lanka and New Zealand has shown just how much the right arm has improved in recent times.
Indian bowling coach Paras Mhambrey challenged Siraj last year to work on certain aspects of his game and the extra training the energetic Quick has put in has paid off.
Siraj took nine wickets against Sri Lanka to become the leading wicket taker for the three match series and backed that up by claiming a four wicket haul in the opening match of the recently completed series against New Zealand.
It means Siraj jumps to the top of the ODI bowler rankings with 729 rating points, albeit narrowly, with his lead over Hazlewood just two rating points higher than the Australian.
India captain Rohit Sharma was full of praise for Siraj when asked about the emerging pacesetter after the whitewash streak over New Zealand.
“He has done very well, he understands what the team expects of him,” said Rohit.
“To come and get the new ball, swing the ball, get early wickets. He has so much skill in the middle overs too. The more he plays the better he gets,” said the skipper.
Fellow Indian pacer Mohammed Shami has moved up 11 places to 32nd overall on the updated list for ODI bowlers as there is much movement at the top of the batsman’s rankings following the completion of India’s home series against the Kiwis.
Pakistani skipper Babar Azam still has a healthy lead at the top of the ODI batsman rankings, but there are now a total of three Indian players in the top 10 in the hunt for top honours.
In form opener Shubman Gill is the eye catcher as the right-hander jumps a whopping 20 places to sixth after a brilliant double hundred and a century at home against New Zealand.
Gill rises ahead of veteran Virat Kohli, who dropped to seventh after an uneventful run against New Zealand, while Rohit jumped two places to finish eighth after his quickfire hundred against the Kiwis in Indore.
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