CHENNAI: Australia’s Michael Hussey and Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan stand at the summit of the Reliance Mobile-ICC Test Rankings for batsmen and bowlers respectively. With two representatives each in the top-five of both rankings, Australia still exerts considerable dominance despite a injecting a flurry of inexperience into its side and, for the first time, India finds itself without a representative in either top-ten.
A productive outing in the first Test against India in Bangalore enabled Mike Hussey to leapfrog two places in the rankings and regain his place as the leading Test batsman in the world. Hussey’s invaluable reap of 177 runs from the fixture eased him beyond Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the ICC Cricketer of the Year-2008, who slipped to second place.
The latest rankings released on Tuesday also signalled dangerous times for the old guard. While Mathew Hayden slid down two spots to nine, Sachin Tendulkar fell a notch to settle at 24. Rahul Dravid, a fighting fifty in the first innings at Bangalore notwithstanding, descended two spots to 18. Virender Sehwag’s one-spot demotion resulted in him being escorted out of the top-ten. He now bides his time at number 11 and has three more Tests lined up against the Aussies to better his ranking. A rare gainer for India was V.V.S. Laxman, who jumped one place to 14.
Ricky Ponting stays put in fourth spot with his tenacious, maiden hundred in India not affecting his place in the rankings.
The biggest upshot for India in the bowling department was Zaheer Khan, whose six-wicket haul in the first Test catapulted him seven places to the 11th spot. Anil Kumble, however, plummeted eight places to eighteenth. Australia’s Mitchell Johnson was another big mover, gaining six places to 34 after a decent showing in Bangalore. Ishant Sharma moved seven spots to 40 and is set to penetrate the business end of the rankings in the near future. The holy trinity of the top three bowlers remains unchanged with Murali on top followed by Aussie Stuart Clark and South African speedster Dale Steyn.
The all-rounders listing is headed by Jacques Kallis, followed by Danny Vettori. Meanwhile, Australia’s spearhead Brett Lee moved up a slot to settle at seventh in the all-rounders rankings.
The rankings: Batsmen: 1. Mike Hussey (Aus), 2. Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI), 3. K.C. Sangakkara (SL), 4. Ricky Ponting (Aus), 5. Mohd Yousuf (Pak), 6. M. Jayawardena (SL), 7. Kevin Pietersen (Eng), 8. Younis Khan (Pak), 9. Matthew Hayden (Aus), 10. Jacques Kallis (SA).
Bowlers: 1. M. Muralidaran (SL), 2. Stuart Clark (Aus), 3. Dale Steyn (SA), 4. Brett Lee (Aus), 5. Makhaya Ntini (SA), 6. Ryan Sidebottom (Eng), 7. Chaminda Vaas (SL), 8. Shoaib Akhtar (Pak), 9. Shane Bond (NZ), 10. Monty Panesar (Eng).
All-rounders: 1. Jacques Kallis (SA), 2. Daniel Vettori (NZ), 3. Andrew Flintoff (Eng), 4. Dwayne Bravo (WI), 5. Chaminda Vaas (SL).