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Dhoni next only to Ponting; India No 3 ODI team in the World

By Staff
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Dubai, Apr 16 (UNI) Dashing India stumper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's dazzling display with the bat has catapulted him to the second spot -- next only to Ricky Ponting -- while after drubbing England 5-1 in the recent home series, Men in Blue have reached their highest-ever third place in the latest LG ICC ODI rankings.

Dhoni began the series in fifth position in the listings but 177 runs at an average of 59, including 96 in Jamshedpur, has pushed him up the list and he is now just seven rating points behind Australia's Ricky Ponting, who tops the rankings.

India's triumph, which means they have won 17 of their last 22 ODIs, saw them leapfrog New Zealand and Pakistan in the Championship table and they are now just three rating points behind second-placed South Africa.

And if India can win both their upcoming ODIs against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, on Tuesday and Wednesday, they will reduce that margin to just one point. Australia is 13 points clear of South Africa at the top of the table.

Third place is India's highest position since the Championship table was launched. In April 2005, they were in eighth spot.

Dhoni is one of four India players in the top 20 for batsmen.

Yuvraj Singh is ninth, Dravid is 11th and Sachin Tendulkar, who missed the entire series due to injury, is 18th.

Virender Sehwag, who scored 78 runs in five innings during the ODI series, has dropped seven places in the rankings and is now 28th in the batting list.

All-rounder Irfan Pathan has also made some progress up the Player Rankings.

The left-armer is now fourth in the bowling list, behind South African Shaun Pollock, Australia's Glenn McGrath and Shane Bond of New Zealand and he has eased up to third in the ODI all-rounder's table behind Pollock and England's Andrew Flintoff.

Harbhajan Singh, the leading wicket-taker in the ODI series, is up six places to seventh in the Player Rankings for ODI bowlers while, further down that list, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, who took 6-55 in Indore, has moved up 32 places to joint 66th with his best-ever haul of rating points.

For England the positives from their crushing series lose come in the shape of James Anderson and Kevin Pietersen, both of whom have made significant strides up the rankings.

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