Cricket: Black Caps rise in the rankings

By David Leggat

Martin Guptill has risen in the rankings following a strong tournament. Photo / Getty
Martin Guptill has risen in the rankings following a strong tournament. Photo / Getty

New Zealand's terrific work in pool play at the World T20 is reflected in rankings rises for both team and individuals in the latest list from the International Cricket Council.

Kane Williamson's team have jumped six places to sit second, behind tournament hosts India in the shortest form. New Zealand are also ranked second in ODI cricket, behind Australia, and sixth in tests, a pair of disappointing home and away series this season against Australia hurting them.

And while the skipper is down one spot to No 7 among batsmen, Martin Guptill is up two places to lie behind Indian star Virat Kohli and Australian opener Aaron Finch.

That may prompt Indian Premier League franchises, who didn't want Guptill in the league's auction earlier this year, to keep the tall Aucklander's name on their list should a vacancy come up during the league, which starts on April 9.

He has averaged 41.66 with a strike rate of 162.33 in New Zealand's four-game march to tomorrow morning's semifinal against England in Delhi.

The arguments put up at the time for him missing out on an IPL contract were that there was a strong top-order bunch of candidates and questions over his abilities on Indian pitches.

The first is certainly a fair point, and came down to either sticking with players who had performed well in the past or personal franchise preference, although it seemed odd none of the eight franchises could find a place for Guptill on their roster. The second has been answered during the World T20 in demanding batting circumstances.

Two New Zealanders figure in the top 10 bowling list.

Fast bowler Adam Milne has been one of the successes for New Zealand. His point of difference from the other fast-medium candidates - speed - has made him a wise pick. His three wickets in as many matches cost him 18.66 apiece and were achieved at an economy rate of 6.85, which is outstanding in this form of the game.

He is up six places to No 7, while left armer Mitch McClenaghan remains in the top 10, albeit down four spots to share ninth with one of the biggest climbers, Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi, who is up 11 places.

Offspinner Nathan McCullum, in his final New Zealand tour before retirement, is at equal 20th.

Among the biggest climbers are England batsman Joe Root, up a significant 38 places to No 11; Afghanistan's Rashi Khan, who moves up a whopping 68 places to 11th among the bowlers; and Australian allrounder Glenn Maxwell, who jumps 11 places to 20 in the batting list.

Men's world T20 rankings:
1: India 127pts (1)
2: New Zealand 122 (+6 places)
3: West Indies 120 (+2)
4: South Africa 115 (-3)
5: England 115 (+3)
6: Australia 112 (+1)
7: Pakistan 107 (-3)
8: Sri Lanka (105 (-4)
9: Afghanistan 81 (+4)
10: Bangladesh 74

Batsmen:
1: Virat Kohli (India) 871 pts (+1)
2: Aaron Finch (Aust) 803 (-1)
3: Martin Guptill (NZ)762 (+2)
4: Faf du Plessis (Sth Africa) 741 (-1)
5: Alex Hales (England) 737 (-1)
Also:
7: Kane Williamson (NZ) 718 (-1)
51: Ross Taylor (NZ) 465

Bowlers:
1: Samuel Badree (West Indies) 753 (-)
2: Imran Tahir (South Africa) 740 (-)
3: Ravi Ashwin (India) 725 (-2)
4: Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) 674 (-1)
5: Kyle Abbott (South Africa) 671 (+6)
Also:
7: Adam Milne (NZ) 648 (+6)
=9: Mitch McClenaghan (NZ) 638 (-4)
=20: Nathan McCullum (NZ) 594 (-2)

- NZ Herald

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