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World T20: In-form Kohli to enter knockouts as the top-ranked T20I batsman

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

West Indies's spinner Samuel Badree is the top-ranked bowler while Australia's Shane Watson is the top allrounder in T20I format.

Four of the top five sides on the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Rankings will feature in the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016, which will be played in New Delhi and Mumbai on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Number 1-ranked India will go head-to-head with third-ranked West Indies in Mumbai on Thursday, while in the first semi-final in New Delhi on Wednesday, second-ranked New Zealand will square-off against fifth-ranked England.

India have retained their pre-tournament ranking as well as points, while the West Indies have gained two points to move to 120. This means both the former champions, who each won three of their four second-round matches, are now separated by seven points.

In contrast, New Zealand, who have been the only unbeaten side in the competition to date, have earned six points to rise to 122 and have consequently moved up two places to second. Their semi-final opponents and 2010 champions, England, have also collected three points and are now seven points behind on 115 after winning three of their four matches.

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This comparison reflects that the knockout stage of the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 promises to be as exciting, entertaining and thrilling as displayed in the 32 matches to date.

Meanwhile, there has been a reshuffling of the pack in the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Player Rankings as leading performers have been rewarded for their good performances.

India’s Virat Kohli, who averages 92 after scoring 184 runs in four matches at a strike-rate of over 132, has reclaimed the No. 1 batting position. Kohli had entered the tournament 24 points behind Aaron Finch, but has now opened up a 68-point advantage over the Australian.

England’s Joe Root has rocketed 38 places to career-high 11th after scoring 168 runs in four matches at a strike rate of 150. The Yorkshireman has gained 105 points in the tournament to date as he now has Zimbabwe’s eighth-ranked Hamilton Masakadza firmly within his sights.

Martin Guptill is New Zealand’s highest-ranked batsman after the opener has moved up two places to third following his contribution of 125 runs in three matches at a strike rate of over 162.

West Indies’ flamboyant Chris Gayle has gained one place and is now ranked sixth after scoring 104 runs in two innings at a stunning strike rate of 208.

In the bowlers’ table, West Indies’ Samuel Badree has returned to No. 1 position. Badree has taken six wickets in four matches to date, while India’s Ravichandaran Ashwin has dropped from No. 1 spot to third after managing just four wickets in as many matches.

New Zealand’s Adam Milne and India’s trio — Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and Ashish Nehra are the bowlers who have made impressive gains and are expected to feature in the final leg of what has been a highly-competitive tournament to date.

Milne’s three wickets in three matches have helped him rise six places to sixth, Jadeja’s four wickets in four matches have moved him up three places to seventh, Bumrah’s three wickets in four matches have lifted him 13 places to 13th and Nehra has leaped 14 places to 16th following his four wickets in as many matches.

Shane Watson of Australia has signed off on his T20I career as the No.1-ranked all-rounder. In the batting charts, Watson finished in 10th spot (up by three places) after scoring 96 runs, while he has ended up in 29th spot (up by five places) in the bowlers’ list after taking five wickets in four matches.

Afghanistan, who consistently produced solid performances and eventually caused the biggest upset of the tournament to date by defeating the West Indies, have seen a number of players head in an upward direction.

In the batting table, opener Mohammad Shahzad is now eighth (up by three places), while Asghar Stanikzai is 47th (up by six places). In the bowlers’ table, Mohammad Nabi is ninth (up by 11 places), Rashid Khan is 11th (up by 68 places) and Hamza Hotak is 18th (up by 22 places).

Batsmen to improve their rankings but will no more feature in the tournament include South Africa’s Hashim Amla (12th, up by nine places), Sabbir Rahman of Bangladesh (16th, up by four places), Quinton de Kock of South Africa (17th, up by seven places) and Australia’s Glenn Maxwell (20th, up by 11 places).

Bowlers to head in the right direction are South Africa’s Kyle Abbott (fifth, up by six places), James Faulkner of Australia (eighth, up by 28 places), Mustafizur Rahman of Bangladesh (19th, up by eight places), Australia’s Nathan Coulter-Nile (20th, up by 27 places) and Kagiso Rabada of South Africa (22nd, up by seven places).