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Dhoni, Zaheer leapfrog in ICC Test rankings

Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2007, 1:45 [IST]
 
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Dubai:Wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose unbeaten 76 was instrumental in helping India escape defeat at Lord's Test, has jumped four places up the ladder while left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan broke into top 20 among bowlers in the latest LG ICC Test rankings issued today.

The dashing wicketkeeper-batsman strode into bat on the last day at the match on a pair and responded with an innings of more than three hours and, in the process, compiled his fifth Test fifty in 18 matches.

He is now 50th in the LG ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen with best-ever haul of rating points.

Meanwhile, left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan has broken back into the top 20, up six spots to 19th position, after capturing six wickets at Lord's while Rudra Paratap Singh, whose match haul of 7 for 117 included his first five-wicket haul at the highest level (5 for 59 in the England second innings) climbs 13 places to 38th place.

Several Indians slipped down the rankings. Its leading bowler in the listings, spinner Anil Kumble, has dropped three places to sixth position - the same fall as England spinner England spinner Monty Panesar, now ninth - while seamer S Sreesanth has slipped one spot to 30th.

Aamong batsmen, although Dinesh Karthik's second-innings 60 has lifted him to joint 70th place, up eight spots, captain Rahul Dravid slipped one place to ninth but still remains India's highest-placed batsman and Sachin Tendulkar also lost one place to joint 17th.

For England, Kevin Pietersen remains its leading star after his ninth Test hundred, a typically entertaining 134 which is also his third Test hundred in just five matches during this English summer.

The right-hander remains in fourth place in the LG ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen but his efforts at Lord's have seen him gain 29 rating points to leave him within touching distance of breaking the magical 900 point mark for a second time.

Pietersen did it earlier this summer following his double hundred against the West Indies at Leeds but he followed that with two relatively quiet Tests by his standards, at Manchester and Durham, before his latest effort.

Pietersen is one of only 22 players in Test history to have cracked the 900-point mark and three of them are now all that stands between him and top spot in the LG ICC Player Rankings.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting heads the current list, just clear of Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf while Kumar Sangakkara, fresh from successive double hundreds against Bangladesh, lies in third place.

Andrew Strauss's first innings 96 at Lord's has helped him back into the top 20, up two spots to 20th, but Alistair Cook (21st, down one) and Ian Bell (also dropping one spot to 22nd) are both heading the wrong way, as is Paul Collingwood, whose first-ever Test duck has helped to ease him down two places to 16th position.

On the plus side of England's ledger, captain Michael Vaughan is moving upwards, climbing eight places to 31st position, while his inexperienced seam attack is also making all the right moves in the listings. James Anderson, whose match haul of 7 for 125 included Test best figures of 5 for 42 in the India first innings, has risen ten places to 42nd spot while left-arm swing and seam bowler Ryan Sidebottom (6 for 107 at Lord's) is up seven places to joint 35th position.

The bowling list is still headed by Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, now on the brink of eclipsing Shane Warne's record for most Test wickets, with Makhaya Ntini of South Africa a distant second.

South Africa's Jacques Kallis still heads the Player Rankings for Test all-rounders, clear of the injured Andrew Flintoff of England.

If India wins the series 2-0 with victories at Nottingham and The Brit Oval, it will rise from its current fifth position to third place in the LG ICC Test Championship table, just behind England. A 1-0 series victory would elevate India to fourth and within striking distance of Sri Lanka.

On the other hand, if England wins the next two matches, that would see India drop below Pakistan and New Zealand to seventh spot with just the West Indies and Bangladesh below it on the table.

Test Rankings:

Teams: 1) Australia (141 rtngs); 2) England (115); 3) Sri Lanka (107); 4) South Africa (102); 5) India (102); 6) Pakistan (99); 7) New Zealand (99); 8) West Indies (72) and 9) Bangladesh (4).

Batsmen: 1) Ricky Ponting (Aus, 936 pts); 2) Mohd Yousuf (Pak, 915); 3) Kumar Sangakkara (SL, 900); 4) Kevin Pietersen (Eng, 891); 5) Mike Hussey (Aus, 842); 6) Matthew Hayden (Aus, 828); 7) Jacques Kallis (SA, 820); 8) Younis Khan (Pak, 789); 9) Rahul Dravid (Ind, 764) and 10) Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI, 762)

Bowlers: 1) Muttiah Muralitharan (SL, 920 pts); 2) Makhaya Ntini (SA, 856); 3) Shaun Pollock (SA, 730); 4) Shane Bond (NZ, 722); 5) Stuart Clark (Aus, 720); 6) Anil Kumble (Ind, 716); 7) Matthew Hoggard (Eng, 714); 8) Mohammad Asif (Pak, 710); 9) Monty Panesar (Eng, 706) and 10) Shoaib Akhtar (Pak, 698)

All-rounders: 1) Jacques Kallis (SA, 462 pts); 2) Andrew Flintoff (Eng, 376); 3) Shaun Pollock (SA, 356); 4) Daniel Vettori (NZ, 329) and 5) Chaminda Vaas (SL).

UNI

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