Dravid moves up to 2nd spot in Test rankings

Published: Monday, May 8, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:Beneficiary of Jacques Kallis' double failure in South Africa's final Test against New Zealand, Team India captain Rahul Dravid has moved up to the second position in the latest LG ICC Test Batting Rankings announced here today.

Dravid now trails his Australian counterpart Ricky Ponting, who maintains his stranglehold at the top and Virender Sehwag (12th) and Sachin Tendulkar (17th) are the other two Indians in the top 20 list.

Among the bowlers, Anil Kumble, at ninth, is the lone Indian in top 10.

Meanwhile, South Africa's 2-0 series win over New Zealand also helped the Proteas leapfrog the Kiwis in the LG ICC Test Championship table.

The Proteas have replaced the Black Caps in fifth spot, thanks to wins in Centurion and Johannesburg and head into a break just eight rating points behind fourth-placed Pakistan, according to an ICC release here today.

Personally, captain Graeme Smith's twin half-centuries in the final Test at The Wanderers, a key factor in his sides four-wicket win, have lifted him back into the top 20 Test batsmen in the LG ICC Player Rankings.

Smith has risen five places to 19th in the list and is one of two South Africa batsmen in that top 20.

The other one is Jacques Kallis but two failures in the final Test have dropped him down one place to third, with Dravid moving into second spot, behind Ponting.

The South African took his 200th Test wicket during the third Test but that has not stopped him dropping off the top spot in the LG ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders.

Kallis has slipped to second place and that means Andrew Flintoff will start the first Test against Sri Lanka at Lords on Thursday as the worlds leading all-rounder in the longest form of the game.

Makhaya Ntinis five wickets in Johannesburg have not been enough to take him to the top of the LG ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers, with Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralidaran still heading the list. However, a modest series for Muralidaran in England could see his rating drop and, if it does so, that could take Ntini to the number one position.

Ntini remains one of three South Africa bowlers in the top 20 with Shaun Pollock in 11th place and Andre Nel, who missed the final Test, in 15th.

For New Zealand it has been a case of what might have been as victory in that final match would have meant it retained fifth spot in the LG ICC Test Championship table ahead of South Africa.

Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming remains his sides only representative in the batting top 20, in 14th place, with Jacob Oram (28th) and Nathan Astle (32nd) among those below him in the list.

New Zealand can point to the absence of the injured Shane Bond as a key factor in its defeat as he is the sides best-placed representative in the LG ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers in 10th position.

On the plus side of the ledger, Bonds absence has given extra opportunities to James Franklin and Chris Martin and both have taken their chances to rise in the bowling list. Franklin is now 16th, with his best-ever haul of rating points, and Martin is now 21st.

In the all-rounder list, Pollock has risen two places to third, overtaking Indias Irfan Pathan and Daniel Vettori.

LG ICC Test Championship:

Top10 teams:1. Australia (131) 2. England (113) 3. India (111); 4. Pakistan (109) 5. South Africa (101) 6. New Zealand (97) 7. Sri Lanka (95) 8. West Indies (72) 9. Zimbabwe (27) 10. Bangladesh (3)

Top10 Batsmen: 1. Ricky Ponting, Aus (931) 2. Rahul Dravid, Ind (842) 3. Jacques Kallis, SA (832) 4. Inzamam-ul Haq, Pak (831) 5. Matthew Hayden, Aus (808) 6. Brian Lara, WI (800) 7. Younis Khan, Pak (796) 8. Moh'd Yousuf, Pak and Mike Hussey (780) 10. Marcus Trescothick, Eng (745)

Top10 Bowlers: 1. Muttiah Muralitharan, SL (864) 2. Makhaya Ntini, SA (841) 3. Shane Warne, Aus (813) 4. Glenn McGrath, Aus (811) 5. Matthew Hoggard, Eng (780) 6. Andrew Flintoff, Eng (777) 7. Shoaib Akhtar, Pak (751) 8. Chaminda Vaas, SL (745) 9. Anil Kumble, Ind (731) 10. Shane Bond, NZ (720)

Top5 All-rounders: 1. Andrew Flintoff, Eng (495) 2. Jacques Kallis, SA (486) 3. Shaun Pollock, SA (302) 4. Irfan Pathan, Ind (295) 5. Daniel Vettori, NZ (290).

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