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Zaheer climbs seven rungs to 12th in ICC Test rankings

Published: Thursday, August 2, 2007, 22:21 [IST]
 
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Dubai:India left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan driven by England slip cordon's 'jelly bean' pranks not only helped his side pull an emphatic seven-wicket win against hosts in Nottingham but also helped himself move up seven rungs to 12 th spot in the latest LG ICC Test Rankings for the bowlers released on Wednesday.

Zaheer, who returned with a match-haul of 9 for 134, now has his best-ever haul of rating points and a similar display at The Brit Oval, where the final Test of the series begins on Aug 9, could see him eclipse his previous highest ranking of 11th, which he reached in 2003.

And Zaheer is not the only India player with reason to smile because of upward movement in the ICC Player Rankings.

Former captain Saurav Ganguly, whose Test career looked over a year ago, has surged up eight places to 30th in the batting list, the first time he has occupied such a lofty perch in the past six years.

Opening duo of Wasim Jaffer (up four spots to 38th position) and Dinesh Karthik (climbing 12 places to 58th), whose stand of 147 on the second day did so much to establish India's control of the Test, both have career-best tallies of rating points.

And left-armer RP Singh is another player on the rise, up two slots to 36th position in the bowling list, again with his best-ever haul of rating points.

India's highest-placed batsman in the LG ICC Player Rankings remains Dravid in ninth spot, Sachin Tendulkar is also unchanged in 17th position and veteran leg-spinner Anil Kumble lies seventh in the bowling log, a drop of one place.

England is unlikely to be in the business of sugar-coating its defeat and the loss, which puts it in danger of its first home series defeat since 2001, will be hard to swallow for Michael Vaughan's side.

But it does have some consolations in the LG ICC Player Rankings, not least the continued rise back up the batting list by the captain himself.

Vaughan, who was out of Test cricket from late 2005 until the second Test of the West Indies series earlier this season because of a long-term knee injury, struck 124, his 17th Test hundred.

And even though it was ultimately in a losing cause, it has propelled him up seven places to 24th position in the batting list, his highest placing for almost two years.

Paul Collingwood (up two places to joint 14th spot) and Alastair Cook (up one place to 20th position) are also heading in the right direction in the batting log and talismanic spinner Monty Panesar rises one place to sixth spot among the bowlers after capturing four wickets in the Test.

Further down that bowling ladder, Chris Tremlett, who captured 6 for 92 in a losing cause, has entered the top 50 after just two matches at the highest level, and now lies 47th.

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

Among the batsmen, the top three of Australia's Ricky Ponting, Mohammad Yousuf of Pakistan and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara remains unchanged with Kevin Pietersen of England lying fourth.

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

India's success in Nottingham means it can still win the series 2-0 with another victory at The Brit Oval in London.

And if it does that it will rise from its current fifth position to third place in the LG ICC Test Championship table, just behind England. A draw in Oval would elevate Dravid's men to fourth and within the striking distance of Lanka.

ICC Test Rankings

Batsmen: 1) Ponting (Aus, 936 pts); 2) Mohd Yousuf (Pak, 915); 3) Sangakkara (SL, 900); 4) Pietersen (Eng, 865); 5) Mike Hussey (Aus, 842); 6) Matthew Hayden (Aus, 828); 7) Jacques Kallis (RSA, 820); 8) Younis Khan (Pak, 789); 9) Dravid (Ind, 764) and 10) Chanderpaul (WI, 762).

Bowlers: 1) Muralitharan (SL, 920); 2) Ntini (RSA, 856); 3) Shaun Pollock (RSA, 730); 4) Shane Bond (NZ, 722); 5) Stuart Clark (Aus, 720); 6) Panesar (Eng, 714); 7) Anil Kumble (Ind, 711); 8) Mohammad Asif (Pak, 710); 9) Hoggard (Eng, 707) and 10) Shoaib Akhtar (Pak, 698).

All-rounders: 1) Jacques Kallis (RSA, 462 pts); 2) Flintoff (Eng, 368); 3) Shaun Pollock (RSA, 356); 4) Vettori (NZ, 328) and 5) Chaminda Vaas (SL, 271).

Teams: 1) Australia (141 pts), 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 10) Bangladesh (4)

ThatsCricket (with inputs from Agencies)

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