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Dravid remains second in Test batsman~~s list

Published: Tuesday, May 30, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Dubai:Team India will go into the four-match Test series against the West Indies with one entry each in the Top 10 lists of batsmen and bowlers while Irfan Pathan, currently ranked fourth, would get a chance to improve his rankings in the all-rounders' table.

Team India captain Rahul Dravid is the lone Indian in the Top 10 of the LG ICC Test batsmen's rankings, led by his Australian counterpart Ricky Ponting.

Explosive opener Virender Sehwag is placed 12th, while Sachin Tendulkar, who pulled out of the Test series against the West Indies, is ranked 17th.

In the bowlers' list, headed by Muttiah Muralitharan, India's old warhorse Anil Kumble is placed eighth, while team mate Irfan Pathan is ranked 12th.

Pathan is fourth in the all-rounder's list, which is headed by Protea Jacques Kallis.

Meanwhile, England's maverick bat Kevin Pietersen has broken into the Top 10 Test batsmen, while Lankan offie Muralitharan extended his stay at the top of the bowler's table in the latest LG ICC Player Rankings issued here today.

Pietersen's barnstorming 142 from only 157 balls, a key factor in his side's six-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Edgbaston, has lifted him seven places in those rankings to 10th spot.

It was his fourth Test hundred, his third in successive home Tests, and he is now the highest-placed England player in the batting list.

It continues Pietersen's remarkable rise as he only moved into the top 20 less than two weeks ago following the 158 he made against Sri Lanka at Lords. He is also in the top 10 of the LG ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen, confirming his versatility.

England has three players in the Test batting top 20 with Marcus Trescothick in 11th position -- down one place and overtaken by Pietersen -- while his opening partner Andrew Strauss lies 15th in the list.

For Sri Lanka, twin failures at Edgbaston for Kumar Sangakkara and captain Mahela Jayawardene have seen them slide down the list but both remain in the top 20. Sangakkara is now 13th while Jayawardene dropped to 18th.

There is some consolation for Sri Lanka further down that batting list as Michael Vandort, whose patient 105 was his second Test hundred in only his fifth match, has broken into the top 100, rising 47 places to 78th position.

Sri Lanka can also take heart from yet another brilliant performance from its champion spinner Muralitharan, whose 10-115 was his 15th 10-wicket haul in Tests, comfortably a record. That performance has helped him extend his lead at the top of the LG ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers, ahead of South Africa's Makhaya Ntini.

Muralitharan is one of two Sri Lankans in the top 10 with left-arm seam and swing bowler Chaminda Vaas holding on in 10th slot, although he has slipped one place after collecting only one wicket at Edgbaston.

England's Matthew Hoggard and Andrew Flintoff remain in fifth and sixth spots respectively with Hoggard again reaching a career-high haul of rating points. He is now within striking distance of Australia duo Shane Warne in third and fourth-placed Glenn McGrath.

Further down the list but still within the top 20 is England's Stephen Harmison, in 16th position and out of the side since suffering a leg injury in India earlier this year but now, reportedly, close to a return to international action.

The absence of Harmison together with fellow injury victims Simon Jones (26th), Ashley Giles (33rd) and James Anderson (46th) has given a chance for less experienced bowlers to play and several of them are on the rise in the LG ICC Player Rankings.

Liam Plunkett, whose six wickets at Edgbaston played such a key role in his sides success, has broken into the top 100 for the first time and is up 43 places to 69th in the list.

Below him, left-arm spinner Monty Panesar is up 15 places to 73rd, while Sajid Mahmood has climbed six places to 77th spot. All three players have career-best hauls of rating points.

It was a quiet match for Flintoff and that has seen him slip back into second spot in the LG ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders, behind South Africas Jacques Kallis.

There are, however, only four rating points between the two players and if Flintoff shows decent form in the third Test at Trent Bridge that starts on Friday then there is every chance he can regain top spot once more.

England lead the three-match series 1-0, after the drawn Test in the Lord's.

Any series win will improve Englands rating in the LG ICC Test Championship table and see it close the gap on top side Australia while Sri Lanka can improve its rating points tally with a victory at Trent Bridge to secure a drawn series.

LG ICC Test Championship: 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)

LG ICC Test Rankings: Batsmen (Top 10): 1. Ricky Ponting, Australia (931) 2. Rahul Dravid, India (842) 3. Jacques Kallis, South Africa (832) 4. Inzamam-ul Haq, Pakistan (831) 5. Matthew Hayden, Australia (808) 6. Brian Lara, West Indies (800) 7. Younis Khan, Pakistan (796) 8. Mohd Yousuf, Pakistan and Mike Hussey, Australia (780) 10. Kevin Pietersen, England (766)

Bowlers(Top 10): 1. Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka (884) 2. Makhaya Ntini, South Africa (841) 3. Shane Warne, Australia (813) 4. Glenn McGrath, Australia (811) 5. Matthew Hoggard, England (795) 6. Andrew Flintoff, England (758) 7. Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan (751) 8. Anil Kumble, Ind (731) 9. Shane Bond, New Zealand (720) 10. Chaminda Vaas, Sri Lanka (716)

All-rounders (Top 5): 1. Jacques Kallis, South Africa (486) 2. Andrew Flintoff, England (482) 3. Shaun Pollock, South Africa (302) 4. Irfan Pathan, India (295) 5. Daniel Vettori, New Zealand (290)

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