ICC top spot in striking distance for Dhoni

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/d/dhoni_ap.jpg' class='caption'> MS Dhoni can inch closer to top spot of ICC batting chart if he continues his good form of the Asia Cup in the five-match series against Sri Lanka.

Updated: August 21, 2008 15:48 IST
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Indian ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni can inch closer to top spot of ICC batting chart if he continues his good form of the Asia Cup in the five-match series against Sri Lanka starting August 18.

Dhoni, who was on top of the batting list for a week in April 2006, is 19 points adrift of table topper South African Graeme Smith in the latest ICC ODI batting list with 773 rating points to his kitty.

Sixth-placed Sachin Tendulkar is likely to lose ground after an elbow injury has sidelined him for the ODI series. A player loses one per cent of his rating for missing every match.

Yuvraj Singh (15th) and Gautam Gambhir (19th) are the other India batsmen in the top 20. Both are well placed to move upwards if they perform well in the forthcoming matches.

Sri Lanka's 10th-placed Kumar Sangakkara can cause some reshuffling in the top 10 while veteran teammate Sanath Jayasuriya (15th) also has a top 10 spot firmly within his sights.

In the bowlers' list, headed by Australian Nathan Bracken, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is the highest ranked Indian at 24th and is well placed to enter the top 20.

Fast bowlers Zaheer Khan (35th), RP Singh (46th) and Praveen Kumar (49th) are the other India bowlers in top 50 who will be eyeing an upward movement.

After the disappointing 1-2 Test series loss, India will have to win the ODI series if it wants to improve its ranking from current fourth spot in the ICC ODI Championship table.

If India wins the series 5-0, it will go ahead of New Zealand on 118 ratings points to third place and seventh-placed Sri Lanka will drop to 98 ratings points and eighth position on the ladder.

On the other side of the coin, India could drop to as low as seventh with 105 ratings points if it loses all its matches while Sri Lanka can climb three places to fourth position.

If India wins 4-1, it will stay in fourth place but will reduce the gap with New Zealand to one ratings point while Sri Lanka will slip to 101 ratings points.

A 4-1 win by Sri Lanka will see the islanders rise to fourth with 112 ratings points while India will slip to fifth on 108 ratings points.

If India wins 3-2, both the teams will maintain their positions but India will gain one ratings point. If Sri Lanka wins 3-2, it will leapfrog England to share fourth place with India and Pakistan on 110 points.

However, India will stay fourth, Pakistan fifth and Sri Lanka sixth when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.

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