Dubai, Apr 20: Mahendra Singh Dhoni's meteoric rise in international cricket reached its pinnacle when the dashing India stumper displaced Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting from the top of the batsmen's list of the latest LG ICC ODI Rankings released today.
Placed second before the two-match ODI series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, Dhoni's 59 in India's series-levelling win in the second match yesterday earned the 24-year-old vital rating points and pushed him on the top of the mound.
It has been a fairy tale journey for the lad from Jharkhand who has taken just over 16-months since his debut to dwarf the big boys of the game.
In 42 matches, he averages 52.76 with two hundreds and eight fifties and, equally significantly, he has made those runs at an awesome strike-rate of 103 runs per hundred balls.
However, Dhoni's joy could prove shortlived and Ricky Ponting may regain the numero uno spot in the upcoming three-match one-day series against minnows Bangladesh where as India don't have any commitment until May 18 when they embark upon the ODI series against West Indies in the Caribbean.
In the meantime, Dhoni is one of three India batsmen in the top 10 places with captain Rahul Dravid ninth (up two places) and Yuvraj Singh (10th) also featuring.
Further down the list are the injured Sachin Tendulkar in joint 21st spot with Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya and Virender Sehwag, whose return to form with 73 yesterday has seen him move back up four places to joint 24th position, alongside England's Andrew Strauss.
Meanwhile, Irfan Pathan remains India's top-ranked bowler moving up one spot to third in the list with only Shaun Pollock of South Africa and Australia's Glenn McGrath ahead of him. Pathan also remains in the third position in the all-rounders list behind Pollock and England's Andrew Flintoff but he now has his best-ever haul of rating points.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh slipped three spots to the 10th position as a result of his sub-standard performances in Abu Dhabi.
However, several other Indian bowlers are on the way up the list.
Ajit Agarkar is up four spots to 21st position, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth rises 12 places to be joint 54th (alongside Bangladesh's Manjural Islam Rana) and Ramesh Powar has broken into the top 100, up 19 places to 82nd spot.
The shared two-match series means India and Pakistan remain unchanged in the LG ICC ODI Championship table in third and fourth places respectively.
India trail second-placed South Africa by three points and are 16 points behind leaders Australia while Pakistan are two points back from India.
LG ICC ODI Rankings (after the India-Pakistan series): Teams: 1. Australia(132), 2. South Africa (119), 3. India (116), 4.
Pakistan (114), 5. New Zealand (113), 6. Sri Lanka (105), 7. England (103), 8. West Indies (89), 9. Zimbabwe (42), 10 Bangladesh (24), 11. Kenya (7) Batsmen: 1. Mahendra S Dhoni(Ind), 2. Ricky Ponting (Aus), 3. Adam Gilchrist (Aus), 4. Andrew Symonds (Aus), 5 Graeme Smith (SA), 6.
Mike Hussey (Aus), 7. Kevin Pietersen (Eng), 8. K C Sangakkara (SL), 9. Rahul Dravid (Ind), 10. Yuvraj Singh (Ind) Bowlers: 1. Shaun Pollock (SA), 2. Glenn McGrath (Aus), 3. Irfan Pathan (Ind), 4. Shane Bond (NZ), 5. Daniel Vettori (NZ), 6. Brett Lee (Aus), 7. M Muralidaran (SL), 8. Nathan Bracken (Aus), 9.
Chaminda Vaas (SL), 10. Harbhajan Singh (Ind) All-rounders: 1. Shaun Pollock (SA), 2. Andrew Flintoff (Eng), 3.
Irfan Pathan (Ind), 4. Andrew Symonds (Aus), 5. Shoaib Malik (Pak)