Dravid, Kumble among top 10 in Test rankings

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:Rahul Dravid was India's only entry in the top 10 of the batsmen's list while another veteran from Bangalore, Anil Kumble figure in the bowlers leaderboard in the latest LG ICC Rankings for Tests announced here today.

The Indian captain (882 points) was occupying the third spot behind his redoubtable Aussie counterpart Ricky Ponting (931) and Pakistan's middle order mainstay Mohammad Yousuf (901). At 16th position, Delhi swashbuckler Virender Sehwag was the only other Indian player in the top 20.

Veteran leggie Kumble (736 points) was sixth in the bowlers list making him India's sole entry in the top 10 with Baroda left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan at 14th spot. Ace Sri Lanka offie Muttiah Muralitharan (908) was firmly on top while Proteas spearhead Makhaya Ntini (830) and Australian spin wizard Shane Warne (813) at second and third spot respectively.

Meanwhile in the LG ICC Test Championship, India (111 points) were lying fourth after Australia (130), England (119) and Pakistan (112). England have an opportunity to top the rankings if they beat Australia by three Tests in upcoming Ashes series.

England's series win over Pakistan in August has left them 11 rating points adrift of Ricky Ponting's table-topping side but the gap will disappear if England secure a comprehensive win in the five-match series.

Success by three Tests - 3-0 or 4-1 - will lift England to 124 rating points and, at the same time, drop Australia to 123 points, meaning the leadership of the LG ICC Test Championship table would change for the first time since early 2003 when Steve Waugh's side regained top spot from South Africa.

That, however, will be easier said than done for England as Australia have not lost a series at home since 1992/93 when the West Indies won 2-1. And the last time England won a series Down Under by three clear Tests was way back in 1978/79 when they triumphed 5-1.

Pakistan, now in third position, are just one rating point clear of India. But they have won the first Test of their ongoing home series against the West Indies and look determined to keep the pressure on England should it struggle in Australia.

Even as England have the possession of the near-mythical urn, statistically the Aussies look firm in control for the epic series beginning tomorrow.

World's number one Test batsman and ICC Player of the Year Ponting is supported by two other players in the top ten -- Matthew Hayden (sixth) and Mike Hussey (seventh).

While, the top England batsman is Kevin Pietersen, who is joint 10th with Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene.

In the bowling also, the Australians hold the advantage.

Leg-spinner Shane Warne is in third place while Glenn McGrath is fourth whereas the top England bowler is Andrew Flintoff, ranked fifth in the world.

England can also boast two other bowlers in the top ten - Matthew Hoggard, who is seventh, and Steve Harmison in 10th spot.

Flintoff is the only player from either side ranked in the top five all-rounders in the world.

ICC Test Rankings:

Teams: 1) Australia (130 pts), 2) England (119), 3) Pakistan (112), 4) India (111), 5) Sri Lanka (103), 6) SAfrica (94), 7) New Zealand (92), 8) West Indies (72), 9) Zimbabwe (28) and 10) B'desh (2)

Batsmen: 1) Ricky Ponting (Aus,931 pts), 2) Mohd Yousuf (Pak, 901), 3) Rahul Dravid (Ind, 882), 4) Younis Khan (Pak, 818), 5) Jacques Kallis (SA, 815), 6) Hayden (Aus,808), 7) Mike Hussey (Aus, 780), 8) Brian Lara (WI, 773), 9) Kumar Sangakkara (SL,771), 10) Mahela Jayawardene (SL, 770) and Kevin Pietersen (Eng, 770)

Bowlers: 1) Muralitharan (SL, 908 pts), 2) Makhaya Ntini (SA, 830), 3) Shane Warne (Aus, 813), 4) Glenn McGrath (Aus, 811), 5) Andrew Flintoff (Eng, 737), 6) Anil Kumble (Ind, 736), 7) Matt' Hoggard (Eng, 723), 8) Shane Bond (NZ, 720), 9) Shoaib Akhtar (Pak, 714) and 10) Steve Harmison (Eng, 691)

All-rounders: 1) Jacques Kallis (SA, 466), 2) Andrew Flintoff (Eng, 427), 3) Shaun Pollock (SA, 296), 4) Daniel Vettori (NZ, 290) and 5) Irfan Pathan (Ind, 270)


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