Sehwag drops to 17 in latest ICC Test rankings

Published: Thursday, August 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:Rahul Dravid maintains his second position in the batsmen's list but his Team India deputy Virender Sehwag slipped a rung to 17th in the latest LG ICC Test Player Rankings issued today.

Irfan Pathan, reduced to a fifth choice bowler from his heydays as the new Wasim Akram, however, gained from poor show by others and moved up a place to 14th in the bowlers' list, which has the sole Indian in the top 10 in Anil Kumble who remains static at eighth.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan duo of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumara Sangakkara reaped rewards for their record stand against South Africa in the Rankings for batsmen.

For England, pacer Steve Harmison is back in the top 10 while cult spinner Monty Panesar and their batsmen have also moved up the ladder in the bowlers' list.

The Jayawardene-Sangakkara duo, who added a Test and first-class record 624 for the third wicket during their sides innings win against South Africa in Colombo, are both now positioned in the top 10 ahead of tomorrow's second Test at the R Premadasa Stadium.

Captain Jayawardene, whose 374 is the highest-ever score by a Sri Lanka batsman in Tests, has moved up nine places to 10th in the listing, while Sangakkara, who made 287, his top score at the highest level, climbs three places to eighth slot.

The list remains headed by Australia's Ricky Ponting, clear of Dravid and South Africas Jacques Kallis.

The rise of Jayawardene and Sangakkara is not the only good news for Sri Lanka. Spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharans 10-172 at the Sinhalese Sports Club, his 17th 10-wicket haul in Tests, has extended his lead at the top of the LG ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers.

Muralitharan remains clear of South Africas Makhaya Ntini whose own rating slipped as a result of a wicketless match and he is now just three rating points clear of Australias Shane Warne.

Another positive for Sri Lanka from a bowling point of view is Dilhara Fernando, who captured six wickets in the Test. The seamer has moved up four places to 31st spot and now has a career-best tally of rating points.

For South Africa, the news is less encouraging. Defeat at the SSC means a drawn series is now the best it can hope for, but it cannot now overtake Sri Lanka and claim fifth place in the LG ICC Test Championship table.

Shaun Pollock, 13th in the bowling rankings, is set to return for Fridays second Test, and he may replace fellow seam bowler Andre Nel, who dropped three places to 17th after taking 1-114 in the first match of the series.

With the bat, South Africas highest ranked players are both absent injured Kallis in third spot and Graeme Smith, in 20th position. Below them come Herschelle Gibbs (31st) and AB de Villiers, joint 33rd with Englands Alastair Cook.

Cook, who made his third Test hundred in just his seventh match in Englands innings win against Pakistan at Old Trafford, is one of a host of England batsmen on the rise in the LG ICC Player Rankings.

Cook, Ian Bell (30th) and Paul Collingwood (35th) all have career-best ratings, while England also have three players in the top 20 places in Kevin Pietersen (12th), acting captain Andrew Strauss (13th) and Marcus Trescothick (15th). In fact, encouragingly for England with the Ashes series looming large on the horizon, it can point to the fact it has eight batsmen in the top 40 while Australia has only six.

The news is equally positive with the ball for England as it now has three bowlers in the top 10, thanks to Stephen Harmisons 11-76 at Old Trafford.

Harmisons career-best figures have propelled him back into the top 10 for the first time since early 2005 and he now sits in joint sixth place, alongside team-mate Matthew Hoggard, after a rise of 11 places.

Above both of them is the injured Andrew Flintoff, in fifth position, while spinner Monty Panesars 8-93 has seen him climb 27 places to 39th in the listing. Flintoff remains second in the LG ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders behind Kallis.

Pakistan may have lost at Old Trafford in three days but it still has three players in the top 10 of batting table with Mohammad Yousuf in fourth, captain Inzamam-ul Haq in sixth and Younis Khan seventh.

With the ball, it is still missing its highest ranked player, the injured Shoaib Akhtar in joint eighth alongside Anil Kumble, while leg-spinner Danish Kaneria lies 16th.

Further down that list, all-rounder Abdul Razzaq is 29th with his highest-ever tally of rating points while Mohammad Asif, who hopes to fit for the final Test of the four-match series at The Oval, is in 32nd position.

The third match of the series starts at Headingley tomorrow with that match at The Oval beginning 13 days later.

If England wins the series it will recapture second place in the LG ICC Test Championship table, a spot currently occupied by Pakistan. Australia is 10 points clear at the top of that table.

India remains fourth in the team ladder.

LG ICC Test Championship:

Teams: 1. Australia (130) 2. Pakistan (120) 3. England(113) 4. India (111) 5. Sri Lanka (99) 6. South Africa (98) 7. New Zealand (92) 8. West Indies (72) 9. Zimbabwe (28) 10. Bangladesh (2)

Top-10 Batsmen: 1. Ricky Ponting, Aus (931) 2. Rahul Dravid, Ind (882) 3. Jacques Kallis, SA (824) 4. Mohd Yousuf, Pak (810) 5. Matthew Hayden, Aus (808) 6. Inzamam-ul Haq, Pak (806) 7. Younis Khan, Pak (803) 8, Kumara Sangakkara, SL (795) 9. Mike Hussey, Aus (780) 10. Mahela Jayawardene, SL (758)

Top-10 Bowlers: 1. Muttiah Muralitharan, SL (906) 2. Makhaya Ntini, SA (818) 3. Shane Warne, Aus (813) 4. Glenn McGrath, Aus (811) 5. Andrew Flintoff, Eng (752) 6. Steve Harmison, Eng and Matthew Hoggard, Eng (745) 8. Anil Kumble, Ind and Shoaib Akhtar, Pak (736) 10. Shane Bond, NZ (720)

Top-five All-rounders: 1. Jacques Kallis, SA (476) 2. Andrew Flintoff, Eng (445) 3. Shaun Pollock, SA (296) 4. Daniel Vettori, NZ (290) 5. Irfan Pathan, Ind (270)

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