Saeed Ajmal rises to No.2 spot as Abdur Rehman breaks into the top 10

Dubai, Jan 29, 2012: Crafty off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has risen one more place and his spin partner Abdur Rehman has broken into the top 10 for the first time in his career in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers which were released on Sunday after the conclusion of the Abu Dhabi, Adelaide and Napier Tests.

Saeed followed up his 10-97 in the Dubai Test with seven for 130 in the Abu Dhabi Test which was enough to put him ahead of England’s fast bowler James Anderson in second position.

The 34-year-old has earned 50 ratings points for this achievement giving him a career-best rating, and he now leads Anderson by 25 ratings points but still trails number-one ranked Dale Steyn of South Africa by 84 ratings points.

Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman, who had figures of two for 67 and six for 25 to win the man of the match award, has jumped five places to ninth spot. The 31-year-old from Sialkot had also gained five places in the bowlers’ rankings after his match figures of four for 89 in the Dubai Test.

This is after 23 years year that two Pakistan spinners figure inside the top 10 of the Test player rankings. In September 1988, Abdul Qadir was ranked fifth and Iqbal Qasim 10th, along with Imran Khan (third), Wasim Akram (eighth) and Tauseef Ahmed (13th).

The very fact that Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez are currently the two top-ranked ODI bowlers means this is undoubtedly one of the finest periods for Pakistan spinners in the history of the game.

Also making upward movements are Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon (all Australia), Chris Martin, Doug Bracewell (both New Zealand), while Monty Panesar of England has returned to the rankings in 34th position. Siddle, who won the man of the match award for his six for 96 in the Adelaide Test, has gained two places and is now in fourth position with a career-best rating, Harris’s match figures of four for 112 has lifted him four places to 22nd spot, while Lyon’s match figures of five for 111 has earned him nine places and puts him in 43rd position.

Martin has jumped three places to 13th position following his match figures of eight for 31 in the Napier Test which has also earned him the man of the award while Bracewell has climbed four places and is now in 31st position after his five for 38.

Mainstays of their sides’ batting orders – Michael Clarke, Misbah-ul-Haq, Ricky Ponting and Ross Taylor – have made big strides in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen.

Clarke, who struck 210 and 37 and ended up as the player of the series against India, has moved up seven places and now occupies third position. Ponting is the next highest-ranked Australia batsman in 14th position after he climbed eight places following his scores of 221 and 60 not out.

Misbah has broken into the top 10 for the first time in his career in eighth position by rising six places following his contributions of 84 and 12 while Taylor’s 122 retired hurt in Napier has lifted him three places to 17th position.

Other notable batsmen moving up the order include Azhar Ali in 22nd (up by two), Andrew Strauss in 33rd (up by one), Brad Haddin in 41st (up by two), Asad Shafiq in 47th (up by 12), Virat Kohli in 50th (up by 17) and Bradley-John Watling in 78th (up by 23).

Reliance ICC Test Championship table

Despite Pakistan having already won its seventh series out of 11 against England since 1983-84, there is still a lot to play for in the third and final Test which starts in Dubai on Friday 3 February.

For England, the equation is very simple and straightforward – it has to win the Test to be guaranteed a number-one spot at the 1 April cut-off date and with it a US$175,000 prize which is presented annually to the side which tops the Reliance ICC Test Championship table at the cut-off date.

If England wins the Test, it will finish on 120 ratings points and will top the table irrespective of how South Africa’s three-Test series in New Zealand, to be played from 7-27 March, pans out. However, England’s failure to win the Dubai Test will give South Africa a chance to not only reclaim the number-one spot but will also win the US$175,000 prize.

If England loses the Dubai Test and with it the series 3-0, it will finish on 118 ratings points and can be overtaken by South Africa by a ratings point, provided South Africa sweeps the series in New Zealand.

If England salvages a draw, then it will end on 119 ratings points but will be beaten by South Africa by 0.01 of a ratings point, again if the Proteas win all the three Tests against New Zealand.

The incentive for Pakistan is to win the Test and the series 3-0 is also high. It has the opportunity to narrow the gap with India and Australia to just three ratings points. The two sides are currently sitting on 111 ratings points each, but India is ranked third by a fraction of a point following the home side’s 4-0 series win.

A 2-1 series win will mean it will finish on 105 ratings points, while a 2-0 series win will earn it eight ratings points and it will finish on 107 ratings points. To find out exactly how Pakistan and England Test series will affect the Championship table, please click here. The Test Championship table, unlike the ODI Championship table, is updated only after the end of the series.

Reliance ICC Test Rankings (after Abu Dhabi, Adelaide and Napier Tests)

Batsmen (top 20)

Rank (+/-) Player Team Pts Ave HS Rating

1 ( – ) K.Sangakkara SL 850 55.97 938 v Eng at Kandy 2007

2 ( – ) Jacques Kallis SA 846 57.02 935 v NZ at Centurion 2007

3 (+7) Michael Clarke Aus 821 49.65 855 v Eng at Headingley 2009

4 (-1) AB de Villiers SA 815! 49.42 815 v SL at Cape Town 2012

5 ( – ) Alastair Cook Eng 795 48.99 836 v Ind at Edgbaston 2011

6 ( – ) Jonathan Trott Eng 780 55.42 856 v SL at Cardiff 2011

7 (+1) T.Samaraweera SL 775! 53.42 775 v SA at Cape Town 2012

8 (+6) Misbah-ul-Haq Pak 771! 46.54 771 v Eng at Abu Dhabi 2012

9 (+2) S.Chanderpaul WI 766 49.28 901 v NZ at Napier 2008

10 (-6) Younus Khan Pak 762 52.22 880 v SL at Lahore 2009

11 (+1) Hashim Amla SA 760 46.97 842 v Ind at Kolkata 2010

12 (-5) Ian Bell Eng 756 47.76 822 v Ind at The Oval 2011

13 (-4) S.Tendulkar Ind 749 55.44 898 v Zim at Nagpur 2002

14 (+8) Ricky Ponting Aus 735 53.44 942 v Eng at Adelaide 2006

15 (+1) Graeme Smith SA 731 49.42 843 v Eng at Johannesburg 2010

16 (-3) Mike Hussey Aus 728 50.82 921 v WI at Kingston 2008

17 (+3) Ross Taylor NZ 717 42.85 775 v Pak at Wellington 2009

18 (-3) Rahul Dravid Ind 708 52.31 892 v Pak at Kolkata 2005

19 (-3) Kevin Pietersen Eng 699 49.06 909 v WI at Headingley 2007

20 (-1) Darren Bravo WI 683*! 52.50 683 v Ind at Mumbai 2011

Other selected rankings

Rank (+/-) Player Team Pts Ave HS Rating

21 (-3) Matt Prior Eng 668 44.06 693 v Pak at Dubai 2012

22 (+2) Azhar Ali Pak 664*! 41.00 664 v Eng at Abu Dhabi 2012

23 (-2) VVS Laxman Ind 662 45.97 781 v WI at Dominica 2011

24 (-1) V.Sehwag Ind 644 50.79 866 v SL at Galle 2010

27 (+1) B.McCullum NZ 616 36.32 673 v Pak at Hamilton 2011

30 ( – ) M.Hafeez Pak 589 37.44 591 v Eng at Dubai 2012

31 ( – ) Daniel Vettori NZ 586 30.69 672 v Pak at Napier 2009

33 (+1) Andrew Strauss Eng 581 41.34 769 v SA at Johannesburg 2005

34 (-2) G.Gambhir Ind 574 45.26 886 v SL at Kanpur 2009

35 (-3) Taufeeq Umar Pak 563* 40.26 703 v SA at Faisalabad 2003

39 (-3) David Warner Aus 544* 52.37 568 v Ind at Perth 2012

41 (+2) Brad Haddin Aus 530 35.82 637 v WI at Perth 2009

46 (+1) Stuart Broad Eng 503 28.93 505 v Ind at The Oval 2011

47 (+12) Asad Shafiq Pak 498*! 39.13 498 v Eng at Abu Dhabi 2012

49 (-1) Martin Guptill NZ 482* 33.76 515 v Zim at Bulawayo 2011

50 (+17) Virat Kohli Ind 472*! 32.73 472 v Aus at Adelaide 2012

57 (-5) Dean Brownlie NZ 418* 44.66 460 v Aus at Hobart 2011

58 (-5) Eoin Morgan Eng 404* 31.38 477 v Pak at Trent Bridge 2010

61 (-7) Brendan Taylor Zim 386* 29.29 445 v NZ at Bulawayo 2011

63 (-2) K.Williamson NZ 375* 30.75 442 v Ind at Hyderabad 2010

66 (-8) Ed Cowan Aus 371* 34.33 420 v Ind at Perth 2012

68 (-4) Graeme Swann Eng 360 23.36 418 v Ban at Chittagong 2010

69 (+3) Tim McIntosh NZ 353* 27.54 422 v Ind at Hyderabad 2010

72 (-2) Adnan Akmal Pak 342* 29.18 362 v Eng at Dubai 2012

74 (+3) V. Sibanda Zim 335* 26.66 338 v NZ at Bulawayo 2011

76 ( – ) R.Ashwin Ind 330* 35.50 342 v Aus at Sydney 2012

78 (+23) BJ Watling NZ 323*! 34.70 323 v Zim at Napier 2012

80 (-14) Tino Mawoyo Zim 319* 44.85 396 v Pak at Bulawayo 2011

84 (-13) Tatenda Taibu Zim 304* 30.31 557 v Ind at Bulawayo 2005

86 (+5) Tim Southee NZ 289*! 21.08 289 v Zim at Napier 2012

88 (-2) Peter Siddle Aus 284 16.30 294 v Ind at Perth 2012

93 (+35) Regis Chakabva Zim 267*! 27.00 267 v NZ at Napier 2012

100 (-19) Malcolm Waller Zim 254* 41.33 322 v NZ at Bulawayo 2011

Bowlers (top 20)

Rank (+/-) Player Team Pts Avge Econ HS Rating

1 ( – ) Dale Steyn SA 896 23.07 902 v SL at Centurion 2011

2 (+1) Saeed Ajmal Pak 812! 27.31 812 v Eng at Abu Dhabi 2012

3 (-1) James Anderson Eng 787 30.61 813 v Ind at Edgbaston 2011

4 (+2) Peter Siddle Aus 768! 29.03 768 v Ind at Adelaide 2012

5 ( – ) Stuart Broad Eng 760! 31.42 760 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2012

6 (-2) Graeme Swann Eng 750 28.61 858 v Pak at Lord’s 2010

7 ( – ) Ben Hilfenhaus Aus 726*! 28.91 726 v Ind at Adelaide 2012

8 ( – ) Morne Morkel SA 715 30.58 776 v Aus at Cape Town 2011

9 (+5) Abdur Rehman Pak 710*! 28.17 710 v Eng at Abu Dhabi 2012

10 (-1) Zaheer Khan Ind 697 31.78 752 v SA at Durban 2010

11 (-1) S.Al Hasan Ban 678* 31.33 680 v WI at Mirpur 2011

12 (-1) Rangana Herath SL 660 34.33 681 v SA at Durban 2011

13 (+3) Chris Martin NZ 658! 33.33 658 v Zim at Napier 2012

14 (-2) Daniel Vettori NZ 651 33.65 681 v Aus at Auckland 2000

15 (-2) Tim Bresnan Eng 611* 23.60 623 v Ind at The Oval 2011

16 (-1) Umar Gul Pak 603 33.17 627 v WI at Karachi 2006

17 ( – ) Shane Watson Aus 585* 28.01 633 v SA at Cape Town 2011

18 ( – ) M.Johnson Aus 583 31.29 825 v Eng at Cardiff 2009

19 ( – ) Chris Tremlett Eng 580* 26.75 638 v Ind at Lord’s 2011

20 (+1) V.Philander SA 574*! 13.23 574 v SL at Cape Town 2012

Other selected rankings

Rank (+/-) Player Team Pts Avge Econ HS Rating

22 (+4) Ryan Harris Aus 566*! 22.60 566 v Ind at Adelaide 2012

28 ( – ) Ishant Sharma Ind 515 37.87 671 v WI at Dominica 2011

31 (+4) Doug Bracewell NZ 473*! 16.47 473 v Zim at Napier 2012

34 (RE) Monty Panesar Eng 456 33.71 721 v WI at Chester-le-St 2007

43 (+9) Nathan Lyon Aus 363*! 28.68 363 v Ind at Adelaide 2012

44 (+1) Tim Southee NZ 355*! 41.42 355 v Zim at Napier 2012

46 ( – ) R.Ashwin Ind 345* 34.48 436 v WI at Mumbai 2011

48 (-6) Umesh Yadav Ind 329* 32.26 385 v Aus at Melbourne 2011

50 (+6) M.Hafeez Pak 313*! 34.34 313 v Eng at Abu Dhabi 2012

52 (-3) C.Mpofu Zim 297* 44.45 300 v NZ at Bulawayo 2011

56 (-4) Junaid Khan Pak 259* 32.00 328 v SL at Dubai 2011

63 (-9) Kyle Jarvis Zim 238* 36.14 285 v NZ at Bulawayo 2011

64 (-1) Ray Price Zim 228* 35.92 595 v Ban at Bulawayo 2004

68 (-1) V.Sehwag Ind 192* 47.22 320 v Aus at Delhi 2008

70 (+11) Trent Boult NZ 173*! 19.83 173 v Zim at Napier 2012

74 (-3) Brent Arnel NZ 162* 55.77 199 v Pak at Hamilton 2011

78 (-2) S.Tendulkar Ind 135* 54.33 235 v Aus at Kolkata 2001

79 (-2) Michael Clarke Aus 128* 38.16 265 v NZ at Wellington 2005

87 (-4) Mike Hussey Aus 95* 35.83 140 v NZ at Hobart 2011

88 (+6) H.Masakadza Zim 91*! 23.40 91 v NZ at Napier 2012

93 (-5) Brian Vitori Zim 77* 55.66 166 v Ban at Harare 2011

95 (-3) Martin Guptill NZ 69* 39.20 114 v Pak at Napier 2009

96= (-1) E. Chigumbura Zim 65* 49.58 177 v Ban at Chittagong 2005

( – ) Greg Lamb Zim 65* 47.00 66 v Pak at Bulawayo 2011

98 (-1) Younus Khan Pak 61* 58.57 100 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2009

All-rounders (top five)

Rank (+/-) Player Team Pts HS Rating

1 ( – ) S. Al Hasan Ban 404 /*! 404 v Pak at Mirpur 2011

2 ( – ) Jacques Kallis SA 395 616 v Pak at Durban 2002

3 (+1) Stuart Broad Eng 382! 382 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2012

4 (-1) Daniel Vettori NZ 381 412 v Pak at Napier 2009

5 ( – ) Shane Watson Aus 350 /* 394 v SA at Johannesburg 2011

*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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