India move up to fourth, Tendulkar slips
The drawn ODI series between India and South Africa has seen India move up three places in the latest ICC ODI table.
The 2-2 result saw Rahul Dravid's men gain two points, lifting their rating to 109, and although that is the same points tally as Sri Lanka and England, India are now above both of them (and New Zealand) when the ratings are recalculated to three decimal places.
The importance of being in the top six of the ODI table will assume massive significance over the next six months - after April 1, 2006 these teams will automatically qualify for the second stage of the ICC Champions Trophy, to be staged in India later next year.
The four sides after the sixth spot will have to take part in a preliminary round to qualify for the second stage although India, as hosts, will automatically be in the second stage no matter where they are in the table on April 1. South Africa do not appear to be in any danger of slipping out of the top six at this stage. Although their rating has slipped by two points, they are still in second spot, albeit 18 points behind runaway leaders and world champions Australia.
The India-South Africa series has led to big shifts in the ICC ODI Player Rankings too - notably for Jacques Kallis and Sachin Tendulkar. Kallis's consistency saw him move up ten slots into the top ten and he is now joint ninth with Inzamam-ul-Haq. His rise ensures that are two South Africa batsmen in the top ten (Graeme Smith remains at number three) as Herschelle Gibbs, who opted not to make the tour, has slipped six places to 15th.
Tendulkar has slipped 13 places on the back of a modest series and is now 22nd. Two India players are ahead of him - Dravid in seventh, and Virender Sehwag, who moves up seven places to 18th spot. Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan are two other Indian batsmen moving up the player rankings.
Yuvraj is 26th, up five places, and has his highest-ever ranking points tally, while Pathan has moved up 10 places to a joint 59th. Pathan has also moved up in the bowling list. He is up two places to joint eighth, consolidating his position in the top ten, and is India's highest ranked one-day bowler, just ahead of Harbhajan Singh, who is 11th.
Shaun Pollock's incisive new ball displays during the India series saw him move up two places to third, just behind Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee but Makhaya Ntini, Pollock's opening partner, has slipped down six places to 10th. Andre Nel has risen four places to 16th and his best-ever ranking points tally but India's Ajit Agarkar has dropped seven places to 23rd.