India all-rounder Deepti Sharma has climbed to the second spot and has the top position — currently occupied by England’s Sophie Ecclestone — in her sights in the latest ICC T20I bowling rankings announced on Tuesday. The 25-year-old off-spinner, who is leading the wicket-takers list in the ongoing Women’s T20I Tri-series in South Africa with nine scalps, has reduced the England left-arm spinner’s lead to just 26 rating points.
Deepti (737 points) moved up one spot, while South African left-arm spinner Nonkululeko Mlaba, who has picked four wickets in the Tri-series, also climbed a spot to occupy the third place with 732 points.
If the duo continues their form, they could take Sophie’s top spot ahead of the Women’s T20 World Cup, scheduled in South Africa from February 10.
India and South Africa will square off in the T20I Tri-series final in East London on Thursday.
India left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad also improved her rank four places and is currently 14th on the list of T20I bowlers.
There was a lot of movement inside the top 10 among bowlers this week, with Australia pacer Megan Schutt (up six places to fifth) and England seamer Katherine Sciver-Brunt (up two spots to sixth) also gaining spots.
Australia right-hander Tahlia McGrath maintained a healthy buffer at the top in the T20I batting rankings, with classy South Africa top-order performer Laura Wolvaardt among the biggest movers behind her.
Laura improved four places to ninth on the back of her strong start to the Tri-series against India and the West Indies, while teammate Tazmin Brits jumped 10 spots to 18th after an impressive half-century last week.
West Indies skipper Hayley Matthews moved four places to 22nd overall on the updated T20I rankings for batters.
The only change inside the top-10 in the list for all-rounders saw Australia veteran Ellyse Perry take the 10th spot from Tahila following a half-century against Pakistan.