Kohli and de Villiers locked in battle for top spot

Dubai: The fight for the No.1 batting position between India’s Virat Kohli and South Africa captain AB de Villiers in the ICC ODI batsmen's rankings could get exciting in the coming weeks.

With only eight rating points separating No.1 ranked Kohli from de Villiers, the forthcoming series offers both of them an opportunity to either retain or reclaim the top position.

While India play the West Indies in a three-match series from Nov 21 in Kochi, South Africa play host to Pakistan in a three-match series from Nov 24. The series in India finishes Nov 27 and South Africa Nov 30.

This means that both Kohli and de Villiers can potentially make the most of the home conditions in their quest.

Kohli replaced Hashim Amla as the top batsman at the end of the series against Australia earlier in the month, for the first-time in his career. De Villiers, on the other hand, has been a number-one ranked batsman previously, with June 2013 being the last time he was ranked number-one.

De Villiers will enter the home series in second position after gaining three places following stellar performances against Pakistan in the UAE.

The latest player rankings was released at the end of the three-match series between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, which ended in a 1-1 deadlock. It also factors in Bangladesh’s 3-0 series win over New Zealand and South Africa’s 4-1 series win over Pakistan.

The only other positive change inside the top 10 was Tillakaratne Dilshan moving up a place to seventh.

South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn is back in the top 10 of the ODI bowlers' rankings. Steyn has moved up five positions to 10th after claiming six wickets in games ODIs against Pakistan.

The other two South Africa bowlers inside the top 10 are Morne Morkel in eighth and Lonwabo Tsotsobe ninth.

Nuwan Kulasekara has moved up two places to 16th, while Tim Southee has gained a place to figure in 20th spot.

Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal has maintained his hold on the number-one rank with West Indies’ Sunil Narine in second and India’s Ravindra Jadeja in third place.

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