Adam Gilchrist

This Month In … 2006

Rankings rewind

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The period witnessed a tussle for supremacy between two great limited-overs wicket-keeper batsmen – Adam Gilchrist and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Adam Gilchrist and Mahendra Singh Dhoni rank among the greatest wicket-keeper batsmen in the history of limited-overs cricket, the Australian famous for blasting bowling attacks to bits at the top of the order and the Indian a master finisher of innings.

In 2006, Gilchrist was closer to the end of his career than the beginning but still a class act, and Dhoni was on his way to establishing himself as a legend of the future, and this was reflected in the ICC ODI Player Rankings for batsmen.

Gilchrist had displaced Dhoni as the No.1 batsman just before the start of the three-match one-day international series against Bangladesh in April and then went on to hit 76 and 32 in that series, not getting a chance to bat in the third game. That helped him retain his spot at the top.

A few lean few games meant Ricky Ponting slipped to the No.3 position, albeit briefly.

ODI Rankings for batsmen on 20 April 2006 (before Bangladesh-Australia series)

Rank Player  Team
1 Mahendra Singh Dhoni India
2 Ricky Ponting Australia
3 Adam Gilchrist  Australia
4 Andrew Symonds Australia
5 Graeme Smith  South Africa
6 Michael Hussey Australia
7 Kevin Pietersen England
8 Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka
9 Rahul Dravid India
10 Yuvraj Singh India

 

Dhoni was on the way to establishing himself as a modern-day ODI great
Dhoni was on the way to establishing himself as a modern-day ODI great


This was also the time Dhoni's stocks saw a steep rise.

The Indian wicket-keeper batsman had an excellent series against England at home. The series, in March-April, was of seven games, and after one game was washed out, India won 5-1. Dhoni scored 177 runs in five outings at an average of 59 and soon became the No.1 ODI batsman in the world.

However, returns of 3 and 59 in a two-game series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi thereafter saw Dhoni move down to No.2 spot behind Gilchrist.

ODI Rankings for batsmen on 1 May 2006 (before India-Australia series)

Rank Player Team
1 Adam Gilchrist  Australia
2 Mahendra Singh Dhoni India
3 Ricky Ponting Australia
4 Andrew Symonds Australia
5 Michael Hussey Australia
6 Graeme Smith South Africa
7 Kevin Pietersen England
8 Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka
9 Rahul Dravid India
10 Yuvraj Singh India


The Windies, meanwhile, were on a roll. They first beat Zimbabwe 5-0 and then recorded another convincing 4-1 series win over India, both the victories coming at home.

Ramnaresh Sarwan was the leading scorer in both the series with 254 and 273 runs respectively. His outstanding form saw him rise eight spots to No.5 on the chart.

ICC ODI Rankings for batsmen on 31 May 2006

Rank Player Team
1 Adam Gilchrist  Australia
2 Ricky Ponting Australia
3 Mahendra Singh Dhoni India
4 Andrew Symonds Australia
5 Ramnaresh Sarwan Windies
6 Michael Hussey Australia
7 Graeme Smith South Africa
8 Kevin Pietersen England
9 Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka
10 Yuvraj Singh India

 

Shaun Pollock was the best ODI bowler at the time
Shaun Pollock was the best ODI bowler at the time


In the bowling department, there wasn't much movement with Shaun Pollock holding on to his No.1 spot. Irfan Pathan, who had moved up to No.2 after an impressive series against England, where he was the second-highest wicket-taker, moved down five spots to No.7 after a lean series in the Windies where he could only manage six wickets in four games.

Ian Bradshaw's consistent performances against Zimbabwe and India saw him break into the top 10 – as of 31 May 2006, the left-arm seamer was placed at No.9, six places above his position at the start of the month.

ODI Rankings for bowlers on 31 May 2006

Rank Player Team
1 Shaun Pollock South Africa
2 Shane Bond New Zealand
3 Glenn McGrath Australia
4 Daniel Vettori New Zealand
5 Brett Lee Australia
6 Nathan Bracken Australia
7 Irfan Pathan India
8 Muttiah Muralitharan Sri Lanka
9 Ian Bradshaw Windies
10 Chaminda Vaas Sri Lanka

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