New Delhi:Yuvraj Singh's back-to-back powerpacked knocks have not only given India two consecutive wins over England in the ODI series but also shuffled the ICC's ODI rankings with his side moving up two places from fifth to third position.
In turn, England are now placed sixth having slipped from third following the two comprehensive defeats. Having lost three ratings points, England are now just behind New Zealand by a fraction of a point.
However, with five matches still remaining in the series and the ODI Championship ladder very closely packed, there is plenty of time for Kevin Pietersen and his men to make amends. On the other hand, if India can continue the way they re going, they can go second in the ladder by the end of the series.
There are now just two ratings points separating India in third position from England in sixth. Australia are still out in front, some 12 ratings points clear of South Africa, who are second in the ratings. Pakistan is the other big mover this week as Shoaib Malik's team has moved up two places to fourth following its 3-0 series win against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi.
India's Yuvraj, who slammed two centuries, has also been rewarded for his performance as the left-hander climbed to the sixth spot of the ICC player rankings for ODI batsmen. The 26-year-old has gained no fewer than 11 places to enjoy the highest rating of his career to date.
The batting rankings are still headed by India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni followed by Australia's Michael Hussey in second place and Graeme Smith of South Africa in third. Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has also progressed four spots and now sits at 22nd spot.
Australia captain and former number-one batsman Ricky Ponting is the one to lose out in the top five as he has been overtaken by Yuvraj, Gayle and Chanderpaul. The Tasmanian has been concentrating on Test cricket of late but will have ample opportunity to regain lost ground when Australia take on South Africa and New Zealand in ODIs early in 2009.
Despite losing its series with Pakistan, West Indies' batsmen have made big improvements in the latest rankings. Chris Gayle, who scored two typically entertaining hundreds in the three-match series in the United Arab Emirates, gained six places into fifth position while ICC Cricketer of the Year 2008 Shivnarine Chanderpaul is just ahead of him having jumped two places to fourth. Ramnaresh Sarwan also had a good series with the bat and has jumped seven places to 13th in the list.
Meanwhile, there are a number of batsmen hovering on the cusp of the top 20 after recent matches. Yunus Khan of Pakistan has gained four places to 21st position and now has the highest rating of his career so far while India's Gautam Gambhir has also progressed four spots and now sits just behind Yunus in 22nd place.
Among the bowlers, Pakistan pacer is Sohail Tanvir has broken into the top 10 bowlers for the first time in his career after an impressive performance against the West Indies. The 23-year-old has made rapid progress since making his ODI debut in October 2007 and his haul of seven wickets at an average of 15.14 and economy rate of 4.00 in Abu Dhabi has boosted him further to the tune of 12 places. He now sits in seventh spot, in between the Sri Lanka pair of Muttiah Muralidaran in sixth position and Chaminda Vaas in eighth.
West Indies speedster Jerome Taylor gains two places and heads into the top 10, underlying the fact that despite losing 3-0 with Pakistan, the series did not come without positives for the men from the Caribbean.
England's Andrew Flintoff loses five places to 13th position in the bowling rankings after taking just one wicket in the first two matches of the series at a cost of 116 runs and an economy rate of 6.10.
Chris Gayle's bowling has also been an important aspect of the West Indies game plan of late and with his batting really firing, he has moved up three places and back into the top five of the ICC Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders. That list is headed by New Zealand's Jacob Oram followed in second place by Flintoff.