Munro and Sodhi on top of the world


Good things really do come in threes for the Black Caps.

Hard on the heels of the team regaining their No.1 ranking in T20Is, comes news that Colin Munro and Ish Sodhi have leaped to the top of the ICC T20I player rankings – as the world’s No.1 ranked batsman and bowler, respectively.

It is the first time a New Zealand pair have simultaneously shared the top ranking in each discipline since Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori achieved the feat in 2009 and 2010.

Munro finished as the leading run-getter in the just-completed series against the West Indies, scoring 223 runs at a strike-rate of just over 197, including a 53-ball 104 in the last match.

He also became the first player in the world to score three T20I centuries.

His spectacular form saw him jump 11 places to No.1, in the process leap-frogging team-mates Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill, who ended the series ranked at No.7 and No.11, respectively.

Munro now leads second-ranked Aaron Finch (Australia) and third-ranked Virat Kohli (India) in T20Is.

“It’s been a bit of a goal of mine to get up the rankings and to get to the top is pretty special”, he said today.

“It’s the belief in the players around me that helps me go out there and play the way I do.

“There’s a massive confidence in the side at the moment.”

Sodhi, who grabbed three wickets, including two for 25 in the third T20I, leaped from 10th to first to top the bowlers’ rankings for the first time in his career.

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The leg-spinner now leads second-ranked Imad Wasim of Pakistan, and the third-ranked bowler, Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan.

“I’m stoked to be ranked number one,” he said. “It hasn’t really sunk in just yet, but I’m sure it will as the days progress.

“I’ve been trying to find a really good balance between attacking and defending and I think it’s getting better and better the more I play.

“We’ve been a really good T20 side for quite some time now and I think it’s probably down to how we adapt to conditions, and also our leadership – the boys have been really good at helping us young players.”

Munro is the third New Zealand batsman to surge to the top of the T20I batting table after Brendon McCullum and Guptill, while Sodhi is the third Black Caps bowler to rise to the top after Daniel Vettori and Shane Bond.

Other Black Caps to improve their rankings following the just-concluded series were Mitchell Santner and Trent Boult.

Santner has returned to the top-10 in sixth place after rising five positions and Boult has risen four places to 13th position.