Cape Town - AB de Villiers and Kumar Sangakkara have brought their battle for the coveted No 1 batting spot in the ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen to Sydney when the two will go head-to-head in the first quarter-final of the Cricket World Cup.
De Villiers started the year leading Sangakkara by 76 ratings points and when the two players will take the field on Wednesday, the South African will be leading the Sri Lankan by 38 ratings points. Both these outstanding cricketers are enjoying great form with De Villiers having scored 417 to date and Sangakkara leading the field with 496 runs, including four centuries.
While de Villiers has gained eight ratings points since the start of the tournament to enjoy his career-high rating of 899, Sangakkara has gained three places and 68 ratings points to sit on 861 ratings points, also his career-high rating.
Not too far behind the two batsmen are Hashim Amla and Virat Kohli.
Amla is in third position, 14 ratings points behind Sangakkara, while Kohli will go into Thursday’s second quarter-final against Bangladesh in Melbourne trailing the South African by four ratings points.
In the ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers, Dale Steyn and Mitchell Starc have Saeed Ajmal’s No 1 ranking firmly within their sights. Steyn has gained one place to rise to second spot to trail the absent Pakistan off-spinner by just five ratings points.
Starc, who started the World Cup in seventh spot, is now on a career-high third position after leading the bowlers’ list with 16 wickets. He is four ratings points behind Steyn and nine ratings points behind Saeed.
In the ICC Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan will try to reclaim the No 1 spot from Tillakaratne Dilshan of Sri Lanka, who leads by 17 ratings points.
There is no change to the ICC ODI Team Rankings as Australia continues to lead defending champion India by five ratings points. South Africa and Sri Lanka are separated by just four ratings points.
The side that tops the ICC ODI Team Rankings on March 31, 2015, will receive an ODI shield as well as a cash award of $175 000, while the side finishing second will collect $75 000.
Forthcoming matches in the Cricket World Cup 2015:
Wednesday, March 18 – Sri Lanka v South Africa, Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)
Thursday, March 19 – Bangladesh v India, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Friday, March 20 – Australia v Pakistan, Adelaide Oval
Saturday, March 21 – New Zealand v West Indies, Wellington Regional Stadium
Tuesday, March 24 – SF1 - Winner QF1 (NZ v WI) v Winner QF3 (SL v SA), Eden Park, Auckland
Thursday, March 26 – SF2 - Winner QF2 (Aus v Pak) v Winner QF4 (BD v Ind), SCG, Sydney
Sunday, March 29 – Melbourne Cricket Ground