Gambhir regains number-one batting spot

Taylor, Dravid and Sehwag vault into top 20; Bond and Asif return to bowling chart in top 10 while Muralidaran drops to third

India needs to win Mumbai Test to claim top spot in Test Championship table


Opener Gautam Gambhir has regained number-one batting spot in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen after his eighth career century helped India record an innings and 144 runs victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test in Kanpur.


Gambhir, who won the ICC Test Player of Year award at the LG ICC Awards in Johannesburg in October, scored 167 and featured in a 233-run first wicket stand with Virender Sehwag who himself has climbed four places to return to the top 20 in 19th place.


Gambhir had first surged to the top of the batting table in July but lost his position a month later to Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara. The New Delhi-born left-hander had entered the Test series in second place and had dropped to third after the first Test in Ahmedabad.


Gambhir’s leap has pushed the Sri Lanka duo of Mahela Jayawardena and Sangkkara into second and third positions respectively.


The West Indies left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s double failure in the Brisbane Test has dropped him four places to eighth and has moved Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf, Australia’s Michael Clarke, Younis Khan of Pakistan and South Africa captain Graeme Smith up by one places each.


The biggest mover in the latest player rankings which were released on Saturday is Ross Taylor of New Zealand.


The 25-year-old from Wellington scored 94 and 59 in the Black Caps’ 32 runs victory over Pakistan in the Dunedin Test and has been rewarded with a jump of seven places. Taylor now sits in a career-best 17th position.


Also moving in the right direction are Rahul Dravid, whose 28th career century has helped him rise three places to 18th, Daniel Vettori 25th (up by three places), Kamran Akmal 31st (up by four places), Marcus North 35th (up by four places) and Yuvraj Singh 44th (up by three places).


The players failing to retain their positions include Sachin Tendulkar 16th (down by one place), VVS Laxman 20th (down by one place), Simon Katich 21st (down by one place), Ramnaresh Sarwan 22nd (down by five places), Mike Hussey 23rd (down by two places), Tillakaratne Dilshan 24th (down by six places), Chris Gayle 28th (down by four places), Mahendra Singh Dhoni 32nd (down by two places), Shoaib Malik 40th (down by two places) and Dwayne Bravo 45th (down by three places).


In the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers, Sri Lanka’s iconic spinner Muttiah Muralidaran has dropped to third position. The 37-year-old from Kandy, who now has 788 Test wickets, had slipped from the top of the ladder for the first time in three years in July and now trails number-one ranked Dale Steyn of South Africa by 130 points.


Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has taken advantage of Muralidaran’s bad form and his own good performance to rise to second. The 28-year-old Queenslander took 4-110 in the Brisbane Test.


Also returning to the ranking table are fast bowlers Shane Bond of New Zealand and Pakistan’s Mohammad Asif. Bond is back in seventh position after match figures of 8-153 which earned him the player of the match award while Asif has reappeared in the chart in ninth place after recording figures of 8-151.


S.Sreesanth, who was player of the match in Kanpur, has also returned to the rankings in 30th position after recording match figures of 6-122.


Bond’s and Asif’s return in the top 10 means there is some reshuffle in the bowling chart with the notable bowlers slipping down the ladder being India’s Zaheer Khan, who has dropped three places to join England’s Graeme Swann in 11th position, Vettori 13th (down by two places), Petter Siddle 16th (down by three places), Jerome Taylor 17th (down by two places) and Chris Martin 20th (down by one place).


Apart from Johnson, the only other bowler in the top 20 to head in the right direction is India spinner Harbhajan Singh who has gained one place and now sits in fifth position.


There is no change in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders with Jacques Kallis of South Africa still on top.


Meanwhile, India is just a victory away from finishing 2009 in number-one position in the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table. India had required a 2-0 win to leapfrog South Africa and Sri Lanka into top position and by winning in Kanpur it has cleared one hurdle.


If India wins the Mumbai Test and the series 2-0, it will go to 124 ratings points while South Africa will be pushed to second place on 122 and Sri Lanka in fourth spot on 115 ratings points, one ratings points behind third-placed Australia.


However, if the Mumbai Test ends in a draw India will join South Africa on 122 ratings points but Dhoni’s side will be placed behind Graeme Smith’s side when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.


In case of Sri Lanka’s victory, both the sides will retain their pre-series rankings and ratings.


Unlike the ODI Championship table, the Test Championship table is only updated after the end of a series.


To check Test series permutations, please go to http://icc-cricket.yahoo.net/match_zone/odi_predictor.php


Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen and bowlers (as of 29 November after Kanpur, Dunedin and Brisbane Tests)

Batsmen

Rank   +/-        Player             Team  Points  Avge   HS Rating

1           (+2)         G. Gambhir           Ind          886!       56.73     886 v SL at Kanpur 2009

2           (-1)          M. Jayawardena  SL           869         54.36     883 v Ind at Ahmedabad 2009

3           (-1)          K. Sangakkara     SL           822         54.77     938 v Eng at Kandy 2007

4           (+1)         M. Yousuf             Pak         800         54.46     933 v WI at Karachi 2006

5           (+1)         Michael Clarke    Aus         799         49.24     855 v Eng at Headingley 2009

6           (+1)         Younus Khan       Pak         793         50.09     880 v SL at Lahore 2009

7           (+1)         Graeme Smith      SA           782         50.33     810 v Aus at Melbourne 2008

8           (-4)          S.Chanderpaul     WI          780         48.75     901 v NZ at Napier 2008

9           ( – )          Ricky Ponting       Aus         776         55.88     942 v Eng at Adelaide 2006

10         ( – )          Jacques Kallis       SA           755         54.66     935 v NZ at Centurion 2007

11         ( – )          T. Samaraweera  SL           747!       52.49     747 v Ind at Kanpur 2009

12         ( – )          Ashwell Prince      SA           742         47.29     756 v Pak at Centurion 2007

13=       ( – )          Andrew Strauss    Eng         740         44.62     769 v SA at Johannesburg 2005

( – )          AB de Villiers        SA           740!       43.92     740 v Aus at Cape Town 2009

15         ( – )          Kevin Pietersen    Eng         727         49.96     909 v WI at Headingley 2007

16         (-1)          S. Tendulkar         Ind          723         54.73     898 v Zim at Nagpur 2002

17         (+7)         Ross Taylor          NZ          720*!    41.55     720 v Pak at Dunedin 2009

18         (+3)         Rahul Dravid        Ind          719         53.50     892 v Pak at Kolkata 2005

19         (+4)         V. Sehwag             Ind          713         50.46     854 v SA at Kolkata 2004

20         (-1)          VVS Laxman       Ind          704         45.39     753 v Aus at Sydney 2004


Bowlers


Rank   +/-        Player             Team  Points Avge   HS Rating


1           ( – )          Dale Steyn            SA           844         23.70     897 v Ind at Ahmedabad 2008

2           (+1)         M. Johnson           Aus         778         28.76     825 v Eng at Cardiff 2009

3           (-1)          M. Muralidaran   SL           767         22.58     920 v Ban at Kandy 2007

4           ( – )          Makhaya Ntini    SA           741         28.37     863 v Ind at Durban 2006

5           (+1)         Harbhajan Singh Ind          704         30.80     765 v NZ at Wellington 2002

6           (-1)          Stuart Clark          Aus         703*      23.86     863 v WI at Bridgetown 2008

7           (RE)        Shane Bond          NZ          690*      22.09     778 v WI at Auckland 2006

8           (-1)          Paul Harris            SA           669*!    32.60     669 v Aus at Cape Town 2009

9           (RE)        M. Asif                   Pak         668*      22.55     710 v SA at Cape Town 2007

10         (-1)          James Anderson  Eng         643         34.87     710 v Aus at Edgbaston 2009

11=       (-1)          Graeme Swann    Eng         634*!    30.39     634 v Aus at The Oval 2009

(-3)          Zaheer Khan        Ind          634         34.25     689 v Pak at Delhi 2007

13         (-2)          Daniel Vettori       NZ          624         33.45     681 v Aus at Auckland 2000

14         (-1)          Stuart Broad         Eng         617*!    35.78     617 v Aus at The Oval 2009

15         (-3)          Brett Lee               Aus         615         30.81     811 v WI at Antigua 2008

16         (-3)          Peter Siddle           Aus         611*      29.60     617 v Eng at The Oval 2009

17=       (-2)          Jerome Taylor      WI          610*      35.64     717 v Eng at Kingston 2009

(-1)          R. Sidebottom      Eng         610*      27.70     769 v SA at Lord’s 2008

19         (-1)          Jacques Kallis       SA           603         31.08     742 v Eng at Headingley 2003

20         (-1)          Chris Martin         NZ          600         33.42     643 v Eng at Lord’s 2004

All-rounders


Rank   +/-        Player             Team  Points              HS Rating


1           ( – )          Jacques Kallis       SA           455                        616 v Pak at Durban 2002

2           ( – )          Daniel Vettori       NZ          404!                       404 v Pak at Dunedin 2009

3           ( – )          Mitchell Johnson Aus         329*/                    384 v Eng at Cardiff 2009

4           ( – )          Shakib Al Hasan Ban        282*/*!                 282 v WI at St George’s 2009

5           ( – )          Stuart Broad         Eng         278*/*!                 278 v Aus at The Oval 2009


*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.

!indicates career-highest rating


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