Dubai, Mar 15 (UNI) Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar's reign as the leader ended rather abruptly as South African captain Graeme Smith snatched top spot of the LG ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen from him after a magnificent performance in the series against Bangladesh which concluded in Dhaka.
Tendulkar's stay at the top of the batting charts lasted less than two weeks. The 35-year-old little master from India had stormed to the top of the batting charts following his match-winning performances in the recent tri-series finals against Australia.
He had scored 117 not out and 91 in Sydney and Brisbane respectively to push Ricky Ponting into second place.
Smith required a career-best rating to grab the coveted spot after starting the series on 753 points and in third place behind Tendulkar and Australia's Ponting.
However, his series effort of 199 runs not only won him the Player of the Series award but also earned him 39 ratings points which were enough for him to leapfrog his two closest rivals into top spot.
Smith's top place in the ODI rankings is backed up by his 14th place in the Test rankings which is an evidence of the fine form he takes to India for the three-Test series starting in Chennai on March 26.
With only 22 ratings points separating top placed Smith from third-placed Ponting, the positions are unlikely to change for another couple of months before Australia goes head-to-head with the West Indies in the five-match ODI starting in Kingston from June 21.
In the Rankings for ODI bowlers, South Africa's Andre Nel achieved a career-best ranking to enter the top 10 for the first time in his career.
The 30-year-old pacer claimed seven wickets in the series to jump 10 places to sixth position.
Makhaya Ntini, who was rested from the series, dropped two places to the 13th spot while Albie Morkel jumped 34 places to 73rd position after bagging six wickets in the series and Charl Langeveldt climbed 12 places to 23rd spot after his effort of five wickets.
Bangladesh's left-arm slow bowler Abdur Razzak strengthened his place in the top 20 when he gained two places to rise to 16th position while Mashrafe Mortaza jumped three places to the 26th spot.
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