Gayle moves up ICC rankings after brilliant innings

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- India opener Virender Sehwag has stormed into the top five of the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen after scoring a superlative double-century against Sri Lanka in the third Test in Mumbai. Sehwag’s 293, which turned out to be the cornerstone of his side’s victory that ultimately gave India the number-one position in the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table for the first time, has rocketed him 14 places to fifth position which he now shares with Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf.

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 on 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 VVS 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.

Other notable batsmen outside the top 20 to make upward movements are Mahendra Singh Dhoni 30th (up by two places), Dwayne Bravo, 40th (up by five places), Umar Akmal 43rd (up by nine places), Brendan Nash 51st (up by 12 places), and Shane Watson 58th (up by 12 places).

Gautam Gambhir of India leads the batting table with Sri Lanka duo of Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara second and third.

In the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers, 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.

Also on the slide are Rangana Herath 30th (down by three places) and Nathan Hauritz 49th (down by 10 places).

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.

There is no change in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders with South Africa’s Jacques Kallis leading the field by a comfortable margin.

Meanwhile, Australia needs to beat the West Indies in the third and final Test starting in Perth from 16 December if it wants to end 2009 in third position.

Having started the year in number-one spot, Australia will slip behind Sri Lanka in fourth position if it loses the Test or the West Indies holds it to another draw. If the series ends in a 1-1 draw, Australia will drop to 112 ratings points (three behind Sri Lanka) while a 1-0 series result will leave Ponting’s side on 114 ratings points (one behind Sri Lanka).

Unlike the ODI Championship table, the Test Championship table is only updated at the end of a series.

Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship (as of 9 December, after the Mumbai, Wellington and Adelaide Tests)

Batsmen

Rank     (+/-)       Player                  Team     Pts       Ave        HS Rating
 1          ( - )        G. Gambhir          Ind         877       56.73     886 v SL at Kanpur 2009
 2          ( - )        M. Jayawardena   SL         836       53.96      883 v Ind at Ahmedabad 2009
 3          ( - )        K. Sangakkara     SL         835       55.10      938 v Eng at Kandy 2007
 4          (+1)       Michael Clarke     Aus       814       50.32      855 v Eng at Headingley 2009
 5          (-1)        M. Yousuf            Pak       804       54.27      933 v WI at Karachi 2006
            (+14)      V. Sehwag           Ind        804       52.50      854 v SA at Kolkata 2004
 7         (-1)         Younus Khan       Pak       785       50.09      880 v SL at Lahore 2009
 8         (-1)         Graeme Smith     SA         782       50.33      810 v Aus at Melbourne 2008
 9         (+8)        Ross Taylor         NZ         775*!     42.71      775 v Pak at Wellington 2009
10        (-2)         S.Chanderpaul     WI         773       48.70      901 v NZ at Napier 2008
11        (-1)         Jacques Kallis     SA         755       54.66      935 v NZ at Centurion 2007
12        (-3)         Ricky Ponting      Aus        754       55.61      942 v Eng at Adelaide 2006
13        (-1)         Ashwell Prince     SA         742       47.29      756 v Pak at Centurion 2007
14=      (-1)         Andrew Strauss   Eng        740       44.62      769 v SA at Johannesburg 2005
            (-1)         AB de Villiers     SA          740 !     43.92      740 v Aus at Cape Town 2009
16        (+2)        Rahul Dravid        Ind          728      53.60      892 v Pak at Kolkata 2005
17        (-2)         Kevin Pietersen    Eng        727      49.96      909 v WI at Headingley 2007
18        (-2)         S. Tendulkar        Ind          723      54.72      898 v Zim at Nagpur 2002
19        (+1)        VVS Laxman       Ind          708      45.50      753 v Aus at Sydney 2004
20        (-9)         T. Samaraweera   SL          707      51.14      747 v Ind at Kanpur 2009
 
Bowlers

Rank    (+/-)        Player                  Team       Pts       Avge      Econ      HS Rating
 1        ( - )          Dale Steyn           SA          844       23.70     897       v Ind at Ahmedabad 2008
 2        ( - )          M. Johnso            Aus         783       28.58     825       v Eng at Cardiff 2009
 3        ( - )          M. Muralidaran      SL          752       22.71     920       v Ban at Kandy 2007
 4        (+5)         M. Asif                 Pak         743*!     21.14     743       v NZ at Wellington 2009
 5        (-1)          Makhaya Ntini      SA          741       28.37     863       v Ind at Durban 2006
 6        (-1)          Harbhajan Singh   Ind          712       30.82     765       v NZ at Wellington 2002
 7        (-1)          Stuart Clark         Aus         696*      23.86     863       v WI at Bridgetown 2008
 8        (-1)          Shane Bond         NZ          683*      22.09     778       v WI at Auckland 2006
 9        (-1)          Paul Harris           SA         669*!     32.60     669       v Aus at Cape Town 2009
10       (+1)         Zaheer Khan         Ind         666       33.96     689       v Pak at Delhi 2007
11       (-1)          James Anderson   Eng        643       34.87     710       v Aus at Edgbaston 2009
12       (-1)         Graeme Swann      Eng        634*!     30.39     634       v Aus at The Oval 2009
13       ( - )         Daniel Vettori        NZ          623       33.41     681       v Aus at Auckland 2000
14       ( - )         Stuart Broad         Eng         617*!     35.78     617       v Aus at The Oval 2009
15       (+6)        Danish Kaneria     Pak         615       34.04     723       v Eng at Multan 2005
16       (+1)        R. Sidebottom      Eng         610*      27.70     769       v SA at Lord's 2008
17       (-2)         Brett Lee              Aus         609       30.81     811       v WI at Antigua 2008
18       (-1)         Jerome Taylor      WI            604*     35.64     717       v Eng at Kingston 2009
19       ( - )         Jacques Kallis     SA            603      31.08     742       v Eng at Headingley 2003
20       ( - )         Chris Martin         NZ            600      33.32     643       v Eng at Lord's 2004


All-rounders

Rank    (+/-)      Player                    Team     Pts        HS Rating
 1        ( - )        Jacques Kallis        SA        455        616 v Pak at Durban 2002
 2        ( - )        Daniel Vettori         NZ         397        404 v Pak at Dunedin 2009
 3        ( - )        Mitchell Johnson    Aus        323*/      384 v Eng at Cardiff 2009
 4        ( - )        Shakib Al Hasan    Ban        282*/*!    282 v WI at St George's 2009
 5        ( - )        Stuart Broad          Eng        278*/*!    278 v Aus at The Oval 2009