—Photo by AFP

Pakistan players now occupy the top two positions in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers after a strong performance from off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez in the recent three-match series in Bangladesh.

The 31-year-old gains six places in the latest rankings and now sits just 19 ratings points behind team-mate Saeed Ajmal, who heads the list.

Hafeez took six wickets in the series at an average of just 8.16 and an economy-rate of less than two runs per over making him the pick of an impressive bunch. Ajmal did enough to stay top of the world rankings with series figures of 4-52.

There were also gains for Umar Gul, who rose three places to 26th position, and Shoaib Malik, who gained 35 places to 82nd in the world.

Hafeez's bowling, coupled with some good support with the bat down the order, has earned him one place on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders and he now occupies second position, having overtaken Australia's Shane Watson. He is just 13 ratings points behind leader Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh.

Despite losing the series 3-0, Shakib was his usual competitive self and his series figures of 4-90 earned him three places on the bowling rankings as he moves to seventh overall.

For India, R Ashwin has broken into the top 20 of the bowling charts for the first time in his career. With two matches remaining in the ongoing series with the West Indies, the 25-year-old from Chennai has gained three places and moves up to 18th position in the rankings.

There is also good progress for Ravi Rampaul in the bowling rankings (up one place to 13th), while in the batting list those moving up include Lendl Simmons (up five spots to 25th), Darren Bravo (up 15 to 54th) and Andre Russell (up 34 to 76th). For India, Virat Kohli (up one place to fourth) and Rohit Sharma (up 21 places to 35th) also improve. However, Gautam Gambhir loses seven places in the latest rankings to 19th position and is now level with South Africa's JP Duminy. -ICC RELEASE

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Comments (4)

Awais Ali Baig
December 7, 2011 5:10 pm
Pakistanis are doing good these days. Hope they continue this effort to uplift nation as well as cricket.
Qamar Sultan
December 7, 2011 9:18 pm
Hope the team will continue this awesome performance in forthcoming matches as well, and the rationale behind is that, all the deserving players are being given chance, which is a great sign.
Wei Hua
December 7, 2011 10:02 pm
Yeah..playing with weaker teams and beating them is a good strategy to climb up the ranking ladder. However, Pakistanis also did well against the Sri Lankans, albeit on UAE grounds, it still remains to be seen how they will show up once they face the giants.
Vaseem Siddiqi
December 7, 2011 10:53 pm
It is good to see Hafeez doing well as a bowler but he also needs to show consistency as a batsman. Currently there is not a single Pakistani in top ten test batsmen and only one (Umar Akmal) in top ten ODI batsmen. If Pakistan wants to be one of the top teams in the world than Pakistan need some world class batsmen and regrettably there is none at the moment.
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