Kuldeep Yadav has surged to second spot in the latest International Cricket Council rankings for Twenty20 Internationals. Kuldeep was the only bowler who escaped punishment in the Hamilton Twenty20 International against New Zealand by taking the wickets of Colin Munro (72) and Tim Seifert (43) to finish with figures of 2/26 from four overs. India lost a high-scoring thriller by four runs to lose a three-match Twenty20 International for the first time. New Zealand prolonged their pain in the shortest format as they won their eighth encounter against India in 11 games. Kuldeep’s great show in the Twenty20 International in Hamilton continued his good form in New Zealand where he was impressive in the ODIs.
In the first two games in Napier and Bay Oval, Kuldeep finished with figures of 4/39 and 4/45 as India won an ODI series in New Zealand for the first time since 2009. Kuldeep is the only Indian bowler in the top 10 of the Twenty20 International rankings and he is behind Afghanistan sensation Rashid Khan.
Kuldeep's spin bowling partner Yuzvendra Chahal after an indifferent series against New Zealand, dropped six places to be 17th while Bhuvneshwar Kumar maintained his 18th rank. In the batsmen's list, Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma swapped three places with compatriot KL Rahul, who didn't feature in the recently-concluded series. The batting chart is headed by talented Pakistani batsman Babar Azam while Rohit Sharma is in seventh.
Rohit, who captained the side for the last two ODIs and in the Twenty20 International series, recently became the leading run-getter in T20Is. During the Auckland clash, he smashed his 16th fifty and became only the third player after Martin Guptill and Chris Gayle to hit 100 sixes in this format. Azam, on the other hand, recently became the fastest to 1000 runs in T20Is and in the series against South Africa, he top-scored with 90 but Pakistan still managed to lose the series 1-2 to the Proteas.
India will now play two Twenty20 Internationals against Australia in Vizag and Bangalore on February 24 and February 27. After the end of the two-match series, India will play five ODIs which will be their last international assignment before the 2019 World Cup which will be held in England on May 31.