Yuvraj achieves career-best second position in batting table

After consistent scores in the recently concluded series against West Indies Yuvraj Singh managed to achieve his career best second position in the ICC Players ranking for ODI
India misses out on chance to go second in Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship

India master blaster Yuvraj Singh has achieved a career-best second position in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen after good performance against the West Indies in the just-concluded series.

Yuvraj, who won the Twenty20 International Performance of the Year Award at the LG ICC Awards in Dubai last year, made scores of 131, 35 and 2 in the three matches while the fourth ODI in St Lucia was washed out on Sunday. His series contribution has helped him jump two places and he now sits behind captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who has consolidated his number-one position.

Dhoni, whose place at the top of the rankings was under threat from Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Yuvraj, produced a consistent performance to strengthen his position at the top. The India wicketkeeper-batsman made scores of 41, 95 and 46 not out to walk away with the player of the series award.

Dhoni now leads Yuvraj by a comfortable 44-point margin. The team-mates are likely to resume their battle for the top spot in September when India plays Sri Lanka and New Zealand in a proposed tri-series in Sri Lanka head of the ICC Champions Trophy 2009 in September in South Africa.

Yuvraj's leap by two places means Chanderpaul and Gayle have dropped one place each despite decent series' with the bat. Chanderpaul is now in third place after totaling 96 runs in the series while Gayle is fourth after scores of 37, 64 and 27.

While Yuvraj's fans will be delighted to see their star continue to make progress in the right direction, they may be disappointed to know that the 27-year-old from Chandigarh has fallen out of the top five of the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for all-rounders.

The left-arm spinner remained wicketless while conceding 53 runs off six overs in the series. His failure to pick up a few wickets means he has slipped five places to eighth position. Yuvraj's fall has benefitted the Pakistan duo of Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi, who have risen to joint-third spot, Jacob Oram (who has returned to the top five in fifth place), Australia's James Hopes (sixth) and Jacques Kallis of South Africa in seventh place.

Returning to the batting table, there was bad news for India opener Gautam Gambhir as well who has slipped four places to share 20th spot with New Zealand's Ross Taylor. Gambhir scored 57 runs in the series with his highest score being 44 in the third ODI at St Lucia.

West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan has gained one place and he is now in 18th position after scores of 45, 15 and 62.

Runako Mortan is the biggest mover in the latest table. The West Indies opener showed consistency with the bat while putting up scores of 42, 85 and 22, and for this he has been rewarded with a jump of 13 places. The 30-year-old is now in 45th spot.

There is no significant change in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers with the only change in the top 20 being Jerome Taylor who has slipped one place to 15th.

Taylor is not the only bowler to have lost ground though. Daren Powell has dropped three places to 23rd, Harbhajan Singh has also fallen three places to 26th and Praveen Kumar has dropped six places to 33rd.

The bowlers to make improvement in their rankings include Dwayne Bravo, who has climbed six places to 29th, and Ishant Sharma, who has lifted two places to 39th.

In the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship, India has retained its third place but has dropped a full rating point behind Australia.

India had started the series sitting alongside Australia on 122 ratings points but behind Ricky Ponting's side by a fraction. Dhoni's side had needed to win all the matches in the Caribbean to rise to second place but defeat in the second ODI by eight wickets ended those hopes.

Despite losing the series, the West Indies has gained one rating point and has now narrowed the gap with seventh-placed Sri Lanka to 14 ratings points.

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