Rankings, a guide to performance: Morgan
October 24, 2011 12:50 GMT
The men who have topped the inaugural ICC Twenty20 rankings have plenty to feel good about, while reigning world champions England - who also top the team rankings - will be pleased to see that many of their players are at or near the top of the charts.
Eoin Morgan - currently the world's leading T20 batsman - has impressive numbers to back his ranking. In 18 T20Is, Morgan has scored 569 runs at an average of 47.41 and only the retired Aussie duo of Matthew Hayden (308 runs at 51.33) and Andrew Symonds (337 runs at 48.14) have better averages than Morgan.
Commenting on the launch of the rankings, the 25-year-old said: "International Twenty20 rankings give players an ideal guide as to how they're performing in this form of the game.
"From an England perspective it's great to see a number of colleagues feature in the player rankings and I know they, like all players listed, will be looking to improve their positions and develop their game as we look forward to playing more international Twenty20 cricket ahead of Sri Lanka next year," he added.
While Morgan is the only batsman to boast a rating of over 800 points on the day of the launch, New Zealand's Brendon McCullum and Kevin Pietersen of England are both within striking range. Second-ranked McCullum is on 799 ratings points while third-ranked Pietersen, who is likely to face India in Kolkata on Saturday, is sitting on 793 ratings points.
Ajantha Mendis, the top-ranked bowler, is the fourth leading wicket-taker behind Pakistan trio - Shahid Afridi (53), Umar Gul (47) and Saeed Ajmal (45) - with 39 wickets in 20 matches. His bowling figures of six for 16 against Australia in Pallekele on 8 August 2011 stands as the best bowling figures in T20Is to date.
"I feel honoured and humbled to be ranked as the top bowler in a list which includes some of the finest current bowlers," Mendis said.
"While celebrating my number-one ranking, I cannot thank my team-mates enough for their continued support and guidance. If fact, our number-two position on the Championship table illustrates how well we have gelled as a team and consistently produced good performances," he added.
A remarkable feature of the bowlers' ranking is that seven spinners figure inside the top 10. It impressed no less a mind than Daniel Vettori, who said, "I believe spin bowlers have adapted to T20 cricket better than most. To see spinners succeed in a tough environment is great for the game and means bowlers can enjoy Twenty20 cricket, most of the time!"
The leading T20 all-rounder in the world - Shane Watson - was also expectedly happy with his ranking, saying: "With so many fantastic players in world cricket it is a great honor to be recognised as the number-one all-rounder in the international Twenty20 cricket. While personal milestones and accolades are nice, our goal as a team is to play more consistent T20 cricket and allow the rankings to take care of themselves.
"The games we play over the Australia summer are a wonderful opportunity to begin this climb and prepare ourselves in the best way possible for the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka next year."