Sehwag back in top-five of Test rankings

Sehwag back in top-five of Test rankingsDubai, Dec 9 : Riding on his match-winning 293 in the third Test against Sri Lanka, Virender Sewhag stormed into the top-five while his opening partner Gautam Gambhir continued to lead the charts in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings for Test batsmen.

It is the first time since October 2006 that Sehwag has returned to the top five. From the Mumbai Test alone, the 31-year-old from New Delhi has gained 91 points which makes him one of the six batsmen above the 800-point mark.    

It has been an outstanding and memorable series for Sehwag who not only scored 491 runs in four innings but also gained 16 places in the batting table after starting the series in 21st position.    

Also on the charge in the latest player rankings released Tuesday are New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor and the West Indies captain Chris Gayle.    

Taylor, who scored 30 and 97 in a losing cause to Pakistan in the Wellington Test earlier this week, has vaulted eight places to achieve a career-best ninth position while Gayle, who scored 26 and 165 not out, has jumped six places to share 22nd spot with Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan.    

Also moving in the right direction are the India pair of Rahul Dravid, 16th (up by two places), and V. V. S. Laxman, 19th (up by one place) while Australia's vice-captain Michael Clarke, who scored 71 and 61 not out, has also climbed one position to fourth spot.    

However, the news is not very good for Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who has dropped out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2002. Ponting, who started in ninth position, has slipped three places to 12th spot after scores of 36 and 20 in Adelaide.    

India maestro Sachin Tendulkar has also conceded two spots and now sits in 18th position after scoring 53 in his only outing on his home ground.    

In the Test bowlers' rankings, Pakistan pace and spin combination of Mohammad Asif and Danish Kaneria are on the charge.    

Asif, who rattled New Zealand in Wellington with match figures of 9-107, has jumped five places to achieve a career-best fourth ranking to date while Danish has lifted six places to 15th after figures of 6-80.    

India fast bowler Zaheer Khan, who took match figures of 6-142 in the Mumbai Test, has also gained a valuable place which has now put him inside the top 10 while Peter Siddle, who was the ICC Emerging Player of the Year 2009, has slipped seven places to 23rd after claiming just one wicket in Adelaide.    

The list is still headed by South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn with Australia's Mitchell Johnson second and Muttiah Muralidaran of Sri Lanka third.    

Batsmen    

1. Gautam Gambhir (India) 877    

2. Mahela Jayawardena (Sri Lanka) 836    

3. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) 835    

4. Michael Clarke (Australia) 814    

5. Mohammed Yousuf (Pakistan) and Virender Sehwag (India) 804    

7. Younus Khan (Pakistan) 785    

8. Graeme Smith (South Africa) 782    

9. Ross Taylor (New Zealand) 775    

10. Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies) 773    

Bowlers:    

1. Dale Steyn (South Africa) 844    

2. Mitchell Johnson (Australia) 783    

3. Muttiah Muralidaran (Sri Lanka) 752    

4. Mohammed Asif (Pakistan) 743    

5. Makhaya Ntini (South Africa) 741    

6. Harbhajan Singh (India) 712    

7. Stuart Clark (Australia) 696    

8. Shane Bond (New Zealand) 683    

9. Paul Harris (South Africa) 669    

10. Zaheer Khan (India) 666    

All-rounders:    

1. Jacques Kallis (South Africa) 455    

2. Daniel Vettori (New Zealand) 397    

3. Mitchell Johnson (Australia) 323    

4. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 282    

5. Stuart Broad (England) 278. (IANS)




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