New Zealand's Munro, Sodhi top latest ICC T20I rankings
New Zealand's Colin Munro and Ish Sodhi have started the year with a bang after vaulting to the top of the ICC T20I Player Rankings for batsmen and bowlers respectively, following stellar performances in the series against the West Indies, which recently concluded at Mount Maunganui on Wednesday.
Munro finished as the leading run-getter in the series with 223 runs at a strike-rate of just over 197, including a 53-ball 104 in the last match, while Sodhi grabbed three wickets, including two for 25 in the third T20I.
Munro, for his consistent form, has been rewarded with a jump of 11 places, which has put him in number-one position for the first time in his career.
In the process, Munro has leapfrogged team-mates Kane Williamson, who has slipped two places to seventh, and Martin Guptill, who has conceded one place to drop out of the top-10 in 11th position.
Munro has collected 137 points in the series and now leads second-ranked Aaron Finch of Australia by nine points with India's third-ranked Virat Kohi another eight points behind.
Sodhi, in contrast, has leaped from 10th to first, achieving a personal milestone of topping the bowlers' rankings for the first time in his career. The wrist-spinner earned 70 points for his efforts, which has put him seven points ahead of second-ranked Imad Wasim of Pakistan. Afghanistan's Rashid Khan is ranked third, just two points behind his Asian neighbour.
Munro is the third New Zealand batsman to surge to the top of the T20I batting table after Brendon McCullum and Guptill, while Sodhi is the third Black Caps bowler to rise to the top after Daniel Vettori and Shane Bond.
Munro and Sodhi are also the second New Zealand pair to top the T20I batting and bowling tables at the same time after McCullum and Vettori had simultaneously topped the batting and bowling tables in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
In the 50-over format, David Warner and Josh Hazlewood from Australia were the last team-mates to sit on top of the batting and bowling tables at the same time, while South Africa's pair of AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn were the last to occupy the top batting and bowling slots at the same time in Tests.
Munro said, "It's a bit of a surprise but one that I think anybody would take. It's been a bit of a goal of mine to get up the rankings and to get to the top is pretty special.
"Yeh great to get the treble. It's pretty weird actually and it's testament to the way we've prepared.
"Ish has been bowling wonderfully in T20 cricket and the team has been going from strength to strength and it's testament to the way we've been preparing for series and I think we're getting better and better every time."
Ish Sodhi topped the bowlers' rankings for the first time in his career.
A delighted Sodhi commented,"I'm really grateful for the success I've had and I'm stoked to be ranked number-one. It hasn't really sunk in just yet, but I'm sure it will as the days progress.
"I've been trying to find a really good balance between attacking and defending, and I think it's getting better and better the more I play.
"I played club cricket with Colin when I was about 15-years-old and he handed me my first premier cricket cap. So, I'm stoked to see him doing what he is doing at the highest level.
"We've been a really good T20I side for quite some time now and I think it's probably down to how we adapt to conditions and also our leadership - the boys have been really good at helping us young players."
Other players to improve their rankings following the just-concluded series are Windies' batsman Andre Fletcher, and New Zealand trio of Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
Fletcher, who with a series aggregate of 73 runs was the second most successful batsman, has gained 13 places to break into the top-50 in 50th position, Santner has return to the top-10 in sixth place after rising five positions, Boult has claimed 13th position after earning four places and Southee has shot up 11 places to 70th after finishing as the leading wicket-taker in the series with six wickets.
There is no change in the top three of the all-rounders' list, which is headed by Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh. Glenn Maxwell of Australia and Mohammad Nabi of Afghanistan are ranked second and third, respectively.