South Africa’s AB De Villiers and Pakistan’s Hasan Ali have climbed to the top of the ICC ODI rankings chart in the batsmen and bowlers category respectively.
De Villiers recently returned from a four-month injury layoff to hit a career best 177 off just 104 balls to guide South Africa to victory in the second ODI against Bangladesh.
The Proteas batsman leapfrogged India’s Virat Kohli who dropped to second while Australia’s David Warner moved down to the number three spot.
Pakistan’s Babar Azam has meanwhile risen to the fourth spot in the table on the back of his successive tons against Sri Lanka in the UAE.
Hasan Ali’s march to become the fastest Pakistan bowler to collect 50 wickets in the one-day game has been rewarded with a rise to the top spot in the bowler’s rankings.
The 23-year-old has had a remarkable 2017 which has seen him claim three five-wicket hauls to become the leading wicket-taker in the calendar year with 55 to his name.
In the all-rounder’s rankings it is another Pakistan player who rules the roost with Mohammad Hafeez taking the number one slot in the latest rankings.
The 37-year-old all-rounder has been recently reported for a suspect bowling for third time in his career during the third ODI against Sri Lanka. Hafeez picked up one wicket in the match but was reported by the match officials and will have to submit to testing within 14 days.
In the team rankings front, South Africa’s win over Bangladesh has propelled them to the top of the table displacing India who had clinched the spot after their 4-1 win over the Aussies.
Virat Kohli’s men can still reclaim the top slot from the Proteas if they can clean-sweep the upcoming three-match series against New Zealand.
Joe Root may have to “con” England into believing they win the Ashes without talisman Ben Stokes, according to Michael Vaughan.
Former England captain Vaughan insists Australia will be overwhelming favourites to win the Ashes should the tourists be shorn of all-rounder Stokes for the opening Test.
Stokes could miss the first clash that starts on November 23 owing to the fall-out from his Bristol arrest in September for actual bodily harm that left him with a broken finger.
And ex-England skipper Vaughan believes current captain Root must find a way to galvanise his side against the Aussies if Stokes misses out.
“His greatest challenge is going to be to convince the team they can win,” said Vaughan, of England captain Root.
“It may be that he has to lie a bit and con them.
“He might have to blow up a few tyres that might be flat and convince them they are good enough to beat this Australian team.
“I don’t think it is right to go there and talk down the Aussies. I’ve been around captains that do that and it doesn’t work.
“It is worth saying they are good. They are not what they were 20 years ago but they are dangerous and you know what they will produce over five matches.
“You know they will have a bit of magic in them and can Joe convince his players to play a style of cricket over a period to win.
“The problem with this Test team over the last two years is they have had moments where we have all thought they were brilliant and then the week after, like at Headingley (in defeat to West Indies), you have thought ‘what the hell was that?’
“He has to make sure they are consistently playing at a level to take the game into days four and five. I don’t see them blowing Australia away in three days.”
Vaughan hailed Stokes as England’s second-best batsman, behind skipper Root, and admitted fearing the tourists would lose confidence in his absence.
“I am sure Australia respect a lot of our players but the one they fear the most is not going to be there,” said Vaughan, speaking as a BT Sport pundit.
“I’ve not seen too many celebrations from the Australians but I am sure in private they have cracked open a few bottles of Penfold.
Pakistan off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez has been reported for a suspect bowling action during the third one-day international against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, the International cricket Council said.
The ICC said the match officials’ report, which was handed over to the Pakistan team management, cited concerns about the legality of the 37-year-old’s bowling action during the match on Wednesday.
“Hafeez’s bowling action will now be scrutinised further under the ICC illegal bowling action regulations. He is required to undergo testing within 14 days, and, during this period, Hafeez is permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the assessments are known,” said an ICC release.
This is the third time that his action has been reported as suspect. He was first suspended from bowling in December 2014 before he was cleared the following April.
His action was reported for a second time in June 2015 and as this was his second suspension within 24 months of the initial suspension, he was suspended from bowling in international cricket for 12 months from July 2015.
On 17 November 2016, Hafeez underwent a reassessment of his bowling action at the National cricket Centre in Brisbane and was allowed to resume bowling after his action was found to be legal.
Hafeez bowled eight overs and took one for 39 in the match which Pakistan won by seven wickets to secure an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
Pakistan has a history of problems with illegal bowling actions with quick bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Shabbir Ahmed, as well as spinners Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Bilal Asif all reported in the past.
Ajmal’s career ended after he failed to achieve the same success with a remodelled action in 2015 while Bilal’s action was cleared after reassessment.
Under the new ICC regulations, all bowlers are allowed to bend their arm by 15 degrees – beyond which the action is deemed illegal.
Hafeez has claimed 136 wickets in 193 one-day internationals, also taking 52 Test scalps and 46 wickets in Twenty20 internationals.