Colombo: Yuvraj Singh has not only made a successful return to international cricket but has also re-entered the ICC Twenty20 player rankings, which is led by New Zealand's Brendon McCullum for batsmen and Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal for bowlers.
Yuvraj returned to the rankings after fighting off cancer to make a successful comeback to cricket in India's home T20 series against New Zealand. His 34 in the second match in Chennai earned him the 15th spot.
Other than Yuvraj, Suresh Raina too got a major boost ahead of the World Twenty20, emerging as the highest-placed Indian batsmen at number three.
The rankings released on Thursday include the India-New Zealand, Pakistan-Australia and England-South Africa T20 series played just before the World Twenty20, which begins on September 18 in Sri Lanka.
McCullum scored 91 in 55 balls in New Zealand's series-winning victory over India in Chennai, which pushed him to the top of the rankings. David Warner also took a significant leap, courtesy his 59 in the third and final T20 against Pakistan in Dubai. He jumped six places up the rankings to fourth. The batsman taking the most severe hit was England's Eoin Morgan, who dropped from number one to nine.
Ajmal's six wickets in the series against Australia helped him leapfrog England's Graeme Swann to take the top spot in the T20 rankings. Last week, Ajmal became the number-one ranked bowler in the ODIs as well.
England go into the World T20 as the number-one T20 team after they reclaimed the top spot by beating South Africa in the third match to level the series at 1-1. Pakistan's 2-1 series win over Australia has helped them retain their sixth spot, while Australia remain a lowly ninth on the chart.
India have also taken a dip in the rankings, going down to seventh from fourth position after losing the only game of their T20 series against New Zealand, who are now ranked fifth.
(With inputs from IANS)