Perry displaces Raj as top-ranked ODI batsman

Ellyse Perry cuts one square Getty Images

Australia allrounder Ellyse Perry displaced India captain Mithali Raj to claim the top spot in the ICC rankings for batsmen in women's ODIs. Perry, who leads the ICC's ODI rankings for allrounders, topped the batting rankings for the first time in her career, with Australia captain Meg Lanning and Raj occupying the second and third positions. The elevation in the rankings caps off a memorable week for Perry, who earlier this week won her second Belinda Clark award for Australia's women's cricketer of the year.

Perry played a critical role in Australia's successful Ashes campaign, producing an unbeaten 213 in the day-night Test at North Sydney Oval to help her side secure a draw, and all but ensure that they preserved the lead they had established during the ODI leg over the final Twenty20 matches. Her performances were particularly noteworthy, given that Australia missed the services of the injured Lanning. Perry's immediate challenge will be the tour of India in early March for a three-match ODI series, before a T20I tri-series also featuring England.

Raj, who had wrested the top spot from Lanning in October last year, registered scores of 45, 20 and 4 in India's 2-1 series win over South Africa recently. The upcoming series against Australia could well see Raj, the leading run-getter in women's ODIs, Perry, and Lanning, who is hoping to return to action, tussle for the No.1 spot.

Meanwhile, Raj's compatriots Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana have had mixed results. While Kaur moved downwards, from fifth to seventh, Mandhana leapt 14 places to the 21st position, following a player-of-the-series performance against South Africa, with scores of 84, 135 and 0 in the three-match series. The bowling rankings remained unchanged, with South Africa fast bowler Marizanne Kapp, who picked up two wickets against India, holding on to the top spot with 653 points. India seamer Jhulan Goswami, who recently became the first woman cricketer to 200 ODI wickets, trails Kapp by 10 points to occupy the second position.