KG officially the best in the world ahead of Champions Trophy

South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada is officially the number one ranked bowler in the world in ODIs as the teams gear up for the Champions Trophy, which starts in England on Thursday.

A right-arm paceman, Rabada took four for 39 against England at Lord’s on Monday to help the Proteas win by by seven wickets to claim a consolation victory as the hosts won the three-match series 2-1.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Tuesday that Rabada’s haul at Lord’s has seen him jump four places in the player rankings and sits ahead of second-placed teammate Imran Tahir.

The 22-year-old Rabada, who finished the England series with seven wickets, has become the youngest number-one ranked bowler since Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq in 1998.

With captain AB de Villiers top-ranked among the batsmen, South Africa now has the top two bowlers as well as four players in the top 10 of the ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen – Quinton de Kock (fourth), Faf du Plessis (sixth) and Hashim Amla (10th) being the others.

The intense competition in the individual rankings justifies the tournament’s name as players from the eight participating teams feature prominently in it and not much separates the top players in the fray.

The top three batsmen – de Villiers, David Warner and Virat Kohli are separated by just 22 points while only 23 points separate the top three bowlers – Rabada, Tahir and Mitchell Starc.

ODI Bowlers (top 20)

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts      Avge     Eco

1       (+4)      K. Rabada        SA         724     24.90    5.13

2       (-1)       Imran Tahir       SA       722      24.18    4.67

3       (-1)       Mitchell Starc    Aus      701      19.88    4.81

4       (-1)       Sunil Narine      WI       690      26.46    4.12

5       (+1)      J. Hazlewood    Aus         684      25.18    4.65

6       (-2)       Trent Boult        NZ      683      24.85    4.98

7       ( – )       Chris Woakes   Eng        645     31.56    5.59

8       ( – )       M. Nabi               Afg  622  32.33    4.32

9       (+1)      S. Al Hasan       Ban      620      28.74    4.38

10      (+1)      M. Santner        NZ        617*!   32.20    4.95

11=    (-2)       Matt Henry        NZ        615      25.26    5.62

( – )       Akshar Patel     Ind       615*    30.20    4.38

13      ( – )       Amit Mishra      Ind       609*    23.60    4.72

14      (+1)      M. Mortaza       Ban      601      30.11    4.75

15      (+3)      M. Rahman       Ban      600*!   16.00    4.62

16      (+7)      Liam Plunkett    Eng      597*    31.13    5.73

17      (-1)       Jason Holder     WI        590      32.90    5.44

18=    (-1)       Dale Steyn        SA        579      26.62    4.94

(+2)      R. Ashwin         Ind       579      32.37    4.91

20      (-6)       Adil Rashid        Eng      576      34.12    5.68

Batsmen (top 20)

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts       Avge

1       ( – )       AB de Villiers     SA        874      54.38

2       ( – )       David Warner    Aus      871      44.84

3       ( – )       Virat Kohli         Ind       852      53.11

4       (+2)      Q. de Kock       SA        776      43.71

5       (-1)       Joe Root           Eng      772      47.89

6       (-1)       Faf du Plessis   SA        765      43.34

7=     (+1)      Babar Azam      Pak      762*!    55.08

( – )       Martin Guptill    NZ        762      43.66

9       ( – )       K. Williamson    NZ        742      45.90

10      (+1)      Hashim Amla    SA        734      50.22

11      (-1)       Steve Smith      Aus      733      43.67

12      ( – )       Rohit Sharma    Ind       717      41.37

13      ( – )       MS Dhoni          Ind       712      50.96

14      ( – )       Ross Taylor      NZ        701      44.01

15      (-1)       S. Dhawan        Ind       690      42.91

16      ( – )       Alex Hales        Eng      667      37.86

17=    (+5)      Eoin Morgan     Eng      646      38.10

( – )       Jos Buttler        Eng      646      36.40

19      ( – )       Tamim Iqbal      Ban      642!     33.43

20      ( – )       M. Hafeez         Pak      632      32.73