The 24-year-old opener was 20th in the latest International Cricket Council rankings released on December 31, with fast bowler Kemar Roach the highest-placed bowler at 28th in the rankings.
Brathwaite tallied 613 runs in eight Tests last year, averaging 55 and scoring one century—a magnificent unbeaten 142 in the third Test against Pakistan in Sharjah last October which West Indies won by five wickets.
The Barbadian also scored 60 not out in the second innings to become the first opener to finish unbeaten in both innings of a Test.
Left-hander Darren Bravo, currently in a stand-off with the West Indies Cricket Board after being sent home from the tour of Zimbabwe for disciplinary reasons, is the next highest-ranked Windies player at 30th with Jermaine Blackwood lying 46th and veteran right-hander Marlon Samuels, 49th.
Roach, meanwhile, has remained in the top 30 of the bowlers’ rankings despite having played just one Test in the last 12 months. The right-armer has struggled with injury and loss of form but recently returned to action for Barbados Pride in the West Indies first class competition, and has taken 12 wickets in five outings.
Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, meanwhile is ranked 29th after taking 23 wickets in six Tests last year, including a career-best eight for 49 against Pakistan in the day/night first Test in Dubai last October.
Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, with 14 wickets in seven Tests last year, lies 40th while captain and seamer Jason Holder is 50th.
Australia captain Steve Smith starts 2017 in the same position he did last year—on top of the rankings—while India off-spinner Ravi Ashwin leads the bowling.
In the One-Day International rankings updated New Year’s Day, Samuels was the highest-ranked West Indies batsman at 28th despite opting out of the Tri-Nations Series last November involving hosts Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. Bravo is the only other batsman in the top 50 at 47th.
In the ODI bowlers’ rankings, wily off-spinner Sunil Narine lies third with Holder in at 16th. They are the only two West Indies players in the top 40.
South Africa’s AB de Villiers sits on top the batting while New Zealander Trent Boult holds the number one slot in the bowling. (CMC)