Virender Sehwag’s status as the number one Test batsman is safe for the moment after second placed Michael Clarke dropped three places in the latest ICC rankings released on Thursday.
Clarke, who had the first spot within his sights before the start of the Test with just 16 ratings points separating the two, has dropped to fifth position after his contributions of 28 and 63 in the team’s second and last Test against New Zealand in Hamilton.
Clarke’s gap with Sehwag has also opened to 29 ratings points which reflects the close fight at the top as the Australia vice-captain has slipped three places after conceding only 13 ratings points.
Clarke’s fall has moved South African Hashim Amla back to second place with an opportunity to snatch the number-one position from Sehwag when he faces the West Indies in the three-Test series starting in Kingston on June 10.
Like Clarke, Australia captain Ricky Ponting too suffered a free-fall, dropping out of the top 15.
Ponting, who scored 22 and six in Hamilton, has dropped out of the top 15, slipping six places to 16th position.
India remains the number one Test team with three players — Sehwag (1st), Gautam Gambhir (6th) and Sachin Tendulkar (7th) — in the top 10 batsmen’s list.
In the bowlers’ chart led by South African Dale Steyn, Indian has two representatives in Zaheer Khan (6th) and Harbhajan Singh.