Morkel Morkel replaces Graeme Swann as No.1 ranked bowler

South Africa’s Morne Morkel has taken over as the number-one ranked bowler from England’s Graeme Swann in the Reliance ICC ODI Player Rankings for bowlers.

On Sunday, Morkel produced a man of the match performance by taking 4-22 in South Africa’s series-leveling 80-run victory over Australia in Port Elizabeth and two days later in Kolkata, Swann, who had entered in the series against India in number-one position, finished a disappointing tour of India when he managed only two wickets at 95.50.

Morkel has moved up four places to the top of the rankings for the first time in his career after gaining 32 ratings points while Swann has dropped two places to third after conceding 39 ratings points.

South African players dominate the Reliance ICC Test and ODI Player Rankings. Besides Morkel, Hashim Amla is the top-ranked ODI batsman while the Test rankings are led by fast bowler Dale Steyn and elegant stroke-maker Jacques Kallis.

India’s 5-0 series win over England is also reflected in the latest Reliance ICC Player Rankings which were released on Wednesday morning.

In the bowlers’ ranking, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has broken into the top 20 for the first time after claiming 10 wickets in the series. For this effort, the 25-year-old from Chennai managed a jump of 16 places which has put him in 20th spot.

Ashwin’s team-mate Ravindra Jadeja, who was the player of the match in Kolkata, has also been rewarded for finishing as the most successful bowler of the series with 11 wickets. He has vaulted 12 places to 26th position.

In the batting table, India captain and player of the series Mahendra Singh Dhoni and ICC Cricketer of the Year 2011 Jonathan Trott of England have jointly claimed third position.

Dhoni has moved up two places after scoring 212 runs while Trott has gained three places following his series contribution of 202 runs. The two batsmen now trail second-ranked AB de Villiers of South Africa by 18 ratings points who will continue to lose points while he is out of action due to an injury.

Other batsmen from the India-England series to head in the right direction are Suresh Raina in 26th (up by four places), Alastair Cook in 36th (up by three places), Kevin Pietersen in 47th (up by three places) and Craig Kieswetter in 66th (up by 26 places).

Meanwhile, there is something for Zimbabwe players to celebrate too after their side’s historic victory over New Zealand in the third and last ODI in Bulawayo. Zimbabwe, in a record run-chase, achieved a 329-run target to win with a ball and wicket to spare. However, New Zealand won the series 2-1.

Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor, who became his country’s first batsman to score back-to-back centuries in ODIs while scoring 310 runs in the series, has achieved a career-best ranking of 17th after rising 18 places.

Tatenda Taibu has moved up two places to 57th while a match-winning unbeaten 99 by Malcolm Waller on Tuesday has given him a lift of 95 places. He is now in 136th position.

For New Zealand, captain Ross Taylor has moved up three places to 14th position, Martin Guptill has moved into 27th position after rising nine places following his contribution of 179 runs in two matches and Jesse Ryder has gained four places and is now in 40th spot.

New Zealand bowlers on the rise are Jacob Oram, who has returned to the top 20 in 13th position after gaining eight places following six wickets in the series, and Andy McKay who has rocketed 53 places into 58th after grabbing seven wickets in the series.

The player rankings will now be updated on Saturday after Friday’s ODI between South Africa and Australia in Durban.

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