Test Rankings: Kallis returns with a bang

Published: Sunday, October 14, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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KallisDubai: South Africa batsman Jacques Kallis return to the side with a bang getting back to back man of the match award and in the process becoming only the 23rd player in history to achieve 900 rating points in the LG ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen.

Kallis has joined the exclusive club following a prolific series against Pakistan, in which he scored three hundreds and a fifty in four innings, playing a key role in his side's 1-0 success after being cold shouldered for the innaugural Twenty20 World Cup.

The right-hander's aggregate of 421 runs was the highest by any player in the series and his three hundreds have taken his career tally to 27, joint seventh in the all-time list alongside the Australia duo of Matthew Hayden and Allan Border.

These figures have lifted him to his career-high rating, giving him the third place in the latest player rankings for Test batsmen.

Kallis has moved ahead of Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara and now has only Ricky Ponting of Australia and Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf above him in the listings.

The quartet all stand at 900 rating points or above, a tally achieved only if the player is prolific over a long period of time, and it is the first time in history that four batsmen have stood at 900 points or above at the same time.

One player who never quite scaled the 900-point mark is Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq, but he can still be proud of his facts and figures as he bids farewell to the Test arena.

The former captain, who retired after the drawn second Test in Karachi, had a career-high mark of 870 rating points, and for more than a decade his was the wicket opposition sides needed the most.

Although, the multan-born batsman failed to become the most prolific run-scorer in Pakistan Test history (his final aggregate of 8830 runs was two behind Javed Miandad), Inzamam still leaves the stage with more hundreds in Tests than any other Pakistan batsman, 25, two more than Yousuf and Miandad.

His last listing in the player rankings for Test batsmen sees him placed 14th with only Yousuf and Younis Khan (seventh) ahead of him among his fellow countrymen. Only Yousuf and Miandad among Pakistan players achieved higher ratings.

Like Pakistan, South Africa finished the series with three batsmen in the top 20 with, in addition to Kallis, captain Graeme Smith in 13th place (up four spots), one behind fellow left-hander Ashwell Prince.

Kallis has also maintained his stranglehold on top place in the player rankings for Test all-rounders, clear of England's Andrew Flintoff (who has undergone a fourth operation on his injured left ankle) and team-mate Shaun Pollock.

In the bowling list, Proteas' pace bowler Makhaya Ntini still lies in second position behind Sri Lanka's talismanic spinner Muttiah Muralitharan but he has lost ground and rating points during the series. Pollock drops two places to fifth after being left out of the side for the matches in Karachi in Lahore but two South Africa bowlers on the rise, albeit still outside the top 20, are fast man Dale Steyn and left-arm spinner Paul Harris.

Harris took 12 wickets in the two Tests to suggest the Proteas may have found a long-term spin option at last and those figures are enough to see him placed 34th in the updated listings, while Steyn, with nine wickets, now lies 28th, five spots behind team-mate Andre Nel.

Pakistan has four bowlers in the top 20. The highest-placed of them is Shoaib Akhtar, eighth but currently out of action, while behind him is leg-spinner Danish Kaneria (13th and unchanged after 10 wickets in the series), Mohammad Asif (16th, down six places and now sidelined with an elbow injury) and Umar Gul, in 20th position.

LG ICC Test Rankings:

Batsmen: 1. Ricky Ponting Australia 936 2. Moh"d Yousuf Pakistan 908 3. Jacques Kallis South Africa 903 4. K C Sangakkara Sri Lanka 900 5. Kevin Pietersen England 872 6. Mike Hussey Australia 842 7. Matthew Hayden Australia 828 8. Younis Khan Pakistan 828 9. S Chanderpaul West Indies 762 10. Rahul Dravid India 748

Bowlers: 1. M Muralidaran Sri Lanka 920 2. Makhaya Ntini South Africa 833 3. Shane Bond New Zealand 722 4. Stuart Clark Australia 720 5. Shaun Pollock South Africa 715 6. Anil Kumble India 702 7. Mattew Hoggard England 700 8. Shoaib Akhtar Pakistan 684 9. Zaheer Khan India 678 10. Corey Collymore West Indies 673

All-rounders: 1. Jacques Kallis South Africa 516 2. Andrew Flintoff England 361 3. Shaun Pollock South Africa 342 4. Daniel Vettori New Zealand 329 5. Chaminda Vaas Sri Lanka 271


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