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DUBAI (Web Desk) – Trent Boult will start series against Pakistan as No.1 ranked ODI bowler as New Zealand aims to move into third position after Australia, India and South Africa.

Boult leads Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, in second place, by seven points.

In the series against Pakistan, New Zealand will have an opportunity to move ahead of third-ranked South Africa. However, to make it happen, it will have to win all three matches against Pakistan.

Since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Pakistan has played 18 ODIs in which it has won eight and lost nine. In contrast, New Zealand has played 16 ODIs in the same period and has won eight and lost seven.

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In this background, there is very little to choose between the two sides, which are separated by 24 points on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Championship table.

Meanwhile, India, after winning the Sydney ODI, has retained it second position on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Championship. It trails Australia by 15 points but is just one point ahead of South Africa, which will play five ODIs against sixth-ranked England from 3-14 February.

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India’s Rohit Sharma has surged into the top five of the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen after stellar performances in the just-concluded series against Australia, which the world champion and number-one ranked side won 4-1.

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Sharma has claimed a career-best fifth position after rising eight places following his series aggregate of 441 runs in five matches. Sharma, who played in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2006 in Sri Lanka, has now become India’s second highest-ranked batsman behind Virat Kohli (second), with captain MS Dhoni slipping seven places to 13th position in the latest rankings, which were released on Sunday morning.

Sharma, who was declared Player of the Series, earned 59 points for his performances and he is now 64 points behind Kohli, who trails number-one ranked AB de Villiers of South Africa by 75 points.

Australia’s dominant performance in the series is reflected in the fact that Glenn Maxwell and Steven Smith have improved their rankings, while David Warner has achieved a career-high ranking.

Maxwell, who scored 169 runs in the series, has moved up two places to eighth, Smith’s 315 runs have helped him rise five places to 15th, and Warner has jumped five places to 18th after scoring 220 runs.

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc missed the series against India, resulting in him dropping from the number-one position. Starc had moved to the top after he bowled Australia to the ICC Cricket World Cup victory last year in March.

Who will rule Twenty20?

India will have a chance to climb to No. 1 ICC Twenty20 International ranking when they take on Australia in the three-match series, starting from Tuesday (January 26).

India will play their three games against the hosts in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney and will have to win the series 3-0 to climb to the top spot. Australia too have a chance to climb to No. 1 and will need to win the series 2-1.

India are currently ranked No. 8 with 110 points and a 3-0 win will take them to 120 points, two points clear of West Indies, who are currently the top ranked T20I side in the world.

After their impressive 2-1 series win at home over Pakistan, New Zealand have climbed to the fifth spot ahead of South Africa and Pakistan.

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Kane Williamson, who was leading the side in place of Brendon McCullum, too had an impressive series and scored 175 runs in the three games. His performance helped him break into the top 10 for the first time and he now holds the sixth spot in the ICC T20I batsmen ranking, with Aaron Finch occupying the top spot.

Courtesy: icc-cricket.com