ISLAMABAD: Kumar Sangakkara has regained the number-one Test batting spot in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen following his 10th double century in the Galle Test which Sri Lanka won by seven wickets to lead Pakistan by 1-0 in a two-Test series. Pakistan’s off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has dropped to eight spot in the rankings while batsman Younus Khan has climbed up in the rankings after his brilliant century against Sri Lanka in Galle and now sits at 10th spot. Sangakkara, who won the ICC Cricketer of the Year and ICC Test Cricketer of the Year awards in Colombo in 2012, scored 221 and 21 in the Test, which earned him 31 ratings points that, in turn, helped him to dethrone AB de Villiers from the top pedestal. The South African had snatched the number-one spot from his team-mate Hashim Amla in October 2013 and spent a total stretch of 287 days and 33 Tests at the top.
Sangakkara had first surged to the top of the batting charts in December 2007 when he replaced Ricky Ponting, while he last claimed the top spot in November 2012 in Galle before Australia’s Michael Clarke dislodged him following his 230 against South Africa in the Adelaide Test. Sangakkara has now spent a total of 81 Tests and 671 days as the top-ranked Test batsman. ICC Hall of Famer Garry Sobers holds the record for the most Tests spent as number-one with 189 while Viv Richards is second with 179.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has continued to make gains on the rankings table. He has moved up one position to enter the top five for the first time in his career, following his contributions of 91 and 25 not out. Mahela Jayawardena, playing his last Test series, has retained 14th position following his contributions of 59 and 26, but will seek to make his farewell Test a memorable one, which can potentially help him end higher on the rankings table.
In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, man of the match Rangana Herath has been rewarded for his match figures of nine for 164, which included an impressive six for 48 in the second innings, with a jump of two places. He how sits just outside the top five in sixth position. Dilruwan Perera, the 22-year-old off-spinner, has vaulted five places to 24th following his figures of five for 137 and two for 68.
England v India: Meanwhile, England’s win against India at Old Trafford by an innings and 54 runs on Saturday has seen their bowlers charge up the rankings table. England lead the five-Test series by 2-1 with the final Test to start at The Oval from Friday. James Anderson has climbed two places to grab fifth spot following his three for 46 and two for 18, while man of the match Stuart Broad has propelled four places to ninth spot following his figures of six for 25 in India’s first innings. Broad’s movement now means England have two bowlers inside the top 10. Moeen Ali’s four for 39 in India’s second innings has allowed him to jump four places to a career-high 33rd position.
Amongst the batsmen, Joe Root and Ian Bell remain the two England batsmen inside the top 20. Root has moved up two places to claim a career-best 14th spot, a position he shares with Jayawardena, while Bell has also earned two places which has put him in 17th spot. Captain Alastair Cook is the next highest-ranked England batsman in 24th position. In the ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin has displaced South Africa’s Vernon Philander as the number-one ranked all-rounder, while Broad has moved ahead of Australia’s Mitchell Johnson in fourth position.
Top Ten Batsmen
1: Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)
2: AB de Villiers (South Africa)
3: Hashim Amla (South Africa)
4: David Warner (Australia)
5: Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka)
6: Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies)
7: Michael Clarke (Australia)
8: Misbahul Haq (Pakistan)
9: Ross Taylor (New Zealand)
10: Younus Khan (Pakistan)
Top Ten Bowlers
1: Dale Steyn (South Africa)
2: Ryan Harris (Australia)
3: Mitchell Johnson (Australia)
5: V Philander (South Africa)
6: James Anderson (England)
6: Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)
7: Tim Southee (New Zealand)
8: Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan)
9: Stuart Broad (England)
10: Trent Boult (New Zealand)