Clarke returns to the top of the world

Dubai, Dec 18: Australia captain Michael Clarke has reclaimed the top spot in the latest Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen that were released on Tuesday after the completion of the Hobart and Nagpur Tests.

Clarke, who entered the Hobart Test trailing number-one ranked Shivnarine Chanderpaul by just one ratings point, now leads the West Indian by nine points. Clarke’s knocks of 74 and 57 in the Hobart Test against Sri Lanka that was won by Australia by 137 runs, played a part in helping him race to the top.

England’s captain Alastair Cook, who was the other contender for the top spot, has remained in fourth position after losing 38 ratings points following his double failure in the Nagpur Test which ended in a draw. He now trails Clarke by 52 ratings points.

Other big gainers in the latest rankings are Australia’s Mike Hussey, England’s duo of Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell, Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan and India’s Virat Kohli.

Hussey has returned to the top 10 in ninth position after rising four places following his unbeaten knocks of 115 and 31 in the Hobart Test, while other batsmen to head in the right direction are Trott in 15th (up by three), Bell in 18th (up by three), Dilshan in 24th (up by four) and Kohli in 37th (up by four).

Batsmen to slip down the ladder are Kevin Pietersen in 11th (down by two), Thilan Samaraweera in 17th (down by two), Mahela Jayawardena in 21st (down by four), Sachin Tendulkar in 22nd (down by three), Virender Sehwag in 25th (down by two), Cheteshwar Pujara in 26th (down by one), Shane Watson in 39th (down by three) and Prasanna Jayawardena in 52nd (down by one).

The bowlers’ table is still headed by South Africa’s Dale Steyn while Sri Lanka’s spinner Rangana Herath has dropped two places to fourth whereas Australia fast bowler Peter Siddle, who was the player of the match at Hobart for his spells of five for 54 and four for 50, is now at fifth place with a best-ever 806 ratings points.

Also moving up are England’s paceman James Anderson in sixth (up by one), India’s spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in 20th (up by two), Nathan Lyon in 28th (up by two), Ishant Sharma in 32nd (up by one) and Chanaka Welegedara in 34th (up by five).

The bowlers to move downwards within the top 10 includes Graeme Swann in seventh (down by one), Pragyan Ojha in ninth (down by four) and Ben Hilfenhaus in 10th (down by one).

Jacques Kallis continues to head the all-rounders’ table, followed by Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan in the second place.

India’s Ravichandran Ashwin has moved up a place to sixth, while Siddle has moved into the top 10 of the all-rounders’ table.

Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 18 December after Nagpur and Hobart Tests) —- ICC/Photo ©

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