Brendon McCullum's whirlwind 91 to help New Zealand win their Twenty20 cricket international against India on Tuesday has lifted him to the top spot in the batting rankings for the format.

McCullum bludgeoned three sixes and 11 fours in his 55-ball innings at Chennai as the Black Caps edged out the hosts by one run to claim the series 1-0.

The 30-year-old is now ranked as the best T20 batsman in the world by the International Cricket Council on the eve of the World Cup in Sri Lanka.

West Indies opener Chris Gayle is second, while McCullum's New Zealand teammate Martin Guptill is fifth.

McCullum's brother, Nathan, is the fifth-ranked bowler.

NZ Newswire