Indian pacer Mohammad Siraj on Wednesday became the number one bowler in the ICC ODI bowlers rankings, a testament to his rapid rise in international cricket. Siraj became the leading ODI bowler for the first time, overtaking New Zealand’s Trent Boult and Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood. Not just Siraj’s form over the past 12 months, his efforts in the home ODI series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand earlier this month showed how much the right-hander has improved in recent times.
India’s bowling coach Paras Mambre challenged Siraj to work on certain aspects of his game last year and the extra training the stalwart has quickly put in has paid off.
Siraj became the leading wicket-taker in the three-match series with nine wickets against Sri Lanka and backed it up with four wickets in the just-concluded series opener against New Zealand.
This means Siraj has risen to the top of the ODI bowler rankings with 729 rating points, albeit briefly, just two rating points higher than his top Australian, Hazelwood.
India captain Rohit Sharma was full of praise for Siraj when asked about the emerging pacer after the series whitewash against New Zealand.
“He has done really well, he understands what the team expects from him,” Rohit said.
“Come and take the new ball, swing the ball, get quick wickets. Even in the middle overs, he has got so much skill. The more he plays, the better he will be,” said the skipper.
Fellow India pacer Mohammed Shami jumped 11 places overall to 32nd in the updated list for ODI bowlers, with plenty of movement at the top of the batting rankings following the end of India’s home series against the Kiwis.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam still enjoys a healthy lead at the top of the ODI batsmen rankings, but now has a total of three Indian players in the top 10 and is chasing the highest accolade.
In-form opener Shubman Gill caught the eye as the right-hander jumped 20 places to sixth after a brilliant double century and century against New Zealand at home.
Gill moved up ahead of veteran Virat Kohli, who slipped to seventh after a quiet series against New Zealand, while Rohit jumped two places to equal eighth after a quick-fire century against the Kiwis in Indore.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and appeared on a syndicated feed.)
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