Dhoni retains top spot, Zaheer breaks into top 20

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/d/dhoni-zaheer.jpg' class='caption'> MS Dhoni retained his place at the top of the batting chart while teammate Zaheer Khan stormed into the top 20 of the ICC ODI bowlers' rankings.

Updated: September 03, 2008 08:17 IST
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India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni retained his place at the top of the batting chart while teammate Zaheer Khan stormed into the top 20 of the ICC ODI bowlers' rankings issued on Saturday.

Dhoni, who had toppled his South African counterpart Graeme Smith off the top spot on August 28, maintained a 21-point lead from the Protea skipper with 793. They were followed by Australia captain Ricky Ponting, his teammate Mike Hussey and Pakistani Md Yousuf.

The 27-year-old from Jharkhand was the leading run-scorer in the five-match series against Sri Lanka with 193 runs which helped him displace Smith.

Dhoni, who won the player-of-the-series award, was also on top of the batting list for a week in April 2006 and is the first Indian batsman to head the batting chart since Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar, however, has dropped three places to ninth after missing the series in Sri Lanka because of an elbow injury. A player loses one per cent of his rating for missing every match.

Struggling Yuvraj Singh is the third Indian batsmen in the top 20 but the left-hander has dropped three places after scoring just 72 runs in the series and shares 18th position with England's Ian Bell.

Besides Dhoni, Suresh Raina is the only other Indian to improve his batting ranking. The 21-year-old left-hander scored 157 runs in the series and was rewarded by rising 18 places to 35th position.

Virender Sehwag, who missed the ODI series due to an ankle injury, stays in 29th place but his opening partner Gautam Gambhir has dropped six places to 28th after scoring just 36 runs in the series.

In the bowler's chart, headed by Australian Nathan Bracken, Zaheer is the highest ranked Indian at 14th place. The 29-year-old left-armer took nine wickets in the series and has stormed into the top 20 after jumping eight places.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh improved his ranking by six places and now sits in 23rd position.

Meanwhile, England's Andrew Flintoff has struck gold in the latest rankings. The Lancastrian has surged to the top of ODI all-rounders after jumping six places.

The 30-year-old achieved the feat after climbing 10 places to 38th in the batting list and moving up four places to 13th position in the bowling chart.

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