ICC news March 31, 2015

Starc becomes top-ranked ODI bowler

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mitchell Starc rose two places to claim the No.1 position for the first time in his career © Associated Press

Mitchell Starc has soared to No.1 in the ICC bowlers' rankings in ODIs following a stellar World Cup campaign, where he was the leading wicket-taker and player of the tournament. Australia, with their fifth World Cup title, also retained the ODI shield having finished as the No.1-ranked side at the time of the April 1 cut-off date.

Starc came in to the World Cup seventh on the list, but his 22 wickets at 10.18 and an economy of 3.50 earned him 147 rating points and pushed him to the top spot for the first time in his career. He struck at least twice in every game he played, including a majestic six-for against New Zealand in Auckland which nearly helped Australia defend 152.

Part of the reason why Australia had failed to win that game was because of the damage done by another left-arm swing bowler Trent Boult. He finished the tournament with 22 wickets as well and vaulted nine places to a career-high sixth position in the rankings.

South Africa legspinner Imran Tahir, India fast bowler Umesh Yadav, and Australia's James Faulkner made big gains as well. Tahir leapfrogged nine places into second position following his 15 wickets from eight matches, while Yadav broke into the top 20 for the first time after ending his campaign with 18 wickets at 17.83. Faulkner, who took 10 wickets - including three in the final to claim the Man-of-the-Match award - climbed 12 positions to 23rd.

AB de Villiers reclaimed the top position among ODI batsmen, and also became only the 11th player in history, and second South African after Hashim Amla, to collect more than 900 rating points. It would be scant consolation though after their tournament ended in heartbreak at the semi-final in Auckland.

There was no change in the top five batsmen, but Steven Smith and Martin Guptill, who were both named in the ICC Team of the Tournament, made the biggest moves, jumping to the 12th and 22nd places respectively. Kumar Sangakkara, who ended his ODI career after a highly productive World Cup - 541 runs including four consecutive hundreds - is second on the list.

The only change in the top 10 positions for ODI allrounders was the entry of South Africa's JP Duminy, who moved up four places to ninth. Tillakaratne Dilshan retained top spot, closely followed by Shakib Al Hasan. Pakistan's Shahid Afridi signed off from ODIs as the sixth-ranked allrounder.

Comments