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Amla to claim number-one Test ranking

Posted on Jan 30, 09:50PM | IBNS

Dubai, Jan 30 : South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has an opportunity to claim the number-one ranking on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen for the first time in his career when he takes to the field against Pakistan in the first Test of the three-match series in Johannesburg from Thursday (Feb 1).

Amla is currently just one ratings point behind Australia's number-one ranked Michael Clarke, and he leads third-ranked Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies by seven points.

While a strong performance will put Amla ahead of the Australian, a failure can potentially drop him in the player rankings, which will next be updated at the conclusion of the Johannesburg Test.

Apart from Amla, a number of players will be aiming to make upward movements.

These include teammate AB de Villiers (sixth), Jacques Kallis (seventh), Younus Khan (ninth), Azhar Ali (11th), Graeme Smith in (12th) and Misbah-ul-Haq (13th).

The bowlers' table is headed by South Africa spearhead Dale Steyn, who is currently just five ratings points away from breaking the 900 rating points barrier for the second time in his career.

Steyn last achieved the magical 900-point mark in November 2011 after his efforts of four for 55 and two for 23 in the Cape Town Test against Australia, to become only the second South Africa bowler after Shaun Pollock to achieve the rare distinction.

In ranking terms, 900 or more ratings points mean a player is truly outstanding, a benchmark for the very top bowlers.

Among other bowlers within the top 20 and expected to be in action during the series are Vernon Philander (second), Saeed Ajmal (third), Morne Morkel (eighth), Abdur Rehman (11th) and Umar Gul (19th).

Meanwhile, a 0-0 series result for South Africa against Pakistan would be enough for South Africa to be guaranteed the number-one spot at the 1 April cutoff date for retaining the ICC Test Championship mace and prize money for the top-ranked Test team.

South Africa is currently placed at the top of the table with 124 ratings points, six ratings ahead of second-ranked England.

South Africa would thus have an opportunity to not only become richer by USD 450,000, but also to retain the prestigious Reliance ICC Test Championship mace, irrespective of how the other series before the cutoff date pan out.

There are three more series lined up before the April 1 cutoff date.

India hosts Australia for a four-match series from Feb 22, New Zealand plays the first of a three-match series against England on Mar 6 in Dunedin, and West Indies plays Zimbabwe in the first of a two-match series on Mar 16.

Only a 3-0 series win for Pakistan could see South Africa slip to third position with 117 ratings points, pushing to England to the top with Australia in second place.

To find out exactly how the forthcoming series will affect the Championship Table, please click here.

The Test Championship table is updated after every series, unlike the ODI or T20I Championship tables, which are updated after every match.

A total of US USD 3.8 m in prize money will be shared among the top four sides on April 1, 2013, 2014 and 2015, after the ICC Board approved a proposal earlier this year to substantially increase incentives in the form of prize money to promote Test cricket in the period leading up to the ICC Test Championship event in 2017.

Previously, the top team in the Reliance ICC Test rankings received a cheque for USD 175,000, but, from 2013, it will receive a minimum of USD 450,000, rising to USD 500,000 in 2015.

From 2016 there will be further increases in Test prize money.

Upcoming Fixtures


South Africa v Pakistan
1-5 Feb-1st Test, Johannesburg
14-18 Feb-2nd Test, Cape Town
22-26 Feb-3rd Test, Centurion

Reliance ICC Test Championship table (as of Jan 30)

Rank Team Points

1. South Africa 124
2. England 118
3. Australia 117
4. Pakistan 109
5. India 105
6. Sri Lanka 92
7. West Indies 91
8. New Zealand 78
9. Bangladesh 0


Zimbabwe is currently unranked, as it has played insufficient matches. It has 167 points and a rating of 42.


Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings (as of Jan 30)

Batsmen

Rank Player Team Pts Ave HS Ranking

1 Michael Clarke Aus 887 52.54 900 v SL at Melbourne 2012

2 Hashim Amla SA 886! 51.39 886 v NZ at Port Elizabeth 2013

3 S.Chanderpaul WI 879 51.67 901 v NZ at Napier 2008

4 K Sangakkara SL 842 55.80 938 v Eng at Kandy 2007

5 Alastair Cook Eng 836 49.42 874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012

6 AB de Villiers SA 812 49.27 821 v Eng at The Oval 2012

7 Jacques Kallis SA 809 56.73 935 v NZ at Centurion 2007

8 Ross Taylor NZ 769 43.57 785 v SL at Colombo (PSS) 2012

9 Younus Khan Pak 761 51.69 880 v SL at Lahore 2009

10 Kevin Pietersen Eng 759 49.42 909 v WI at Headingley 2007

11 Azhar Ali Pak 753! 45.27 753 v SL at Pallekele 2012

12 Graeme Smith SA 729 49.28 843 v Eng at Johannesburg 2010

13 Misbah-ul-Haq Pak 720 45.68 771 v Eng at Abu Dhabi 2012

14 Jonathan Trott Eng 709 49.50 856 v SL at Cardiff 2011

15 Matt Prior Eng 693 43.19 698 v Ind at Ahmedabad 2012

16 Ian Bell Eng 680 46.71 822 v Ind at The Oval 2011

17 Marlon Samuels WI 668! 37.36 668 v Ban at Khulna 2012

18 Darren Bravo WI 661* 46.77 709 v Aus at Port-of-Spain 2012

19 S Tendulkar Ind 653 54.32 898 v Zim at Nagpur 2002

20 M Jayawardena SL 652 49.56 883 v Ind at Ahmedabad 2009

Bowlers

Rank Player Team Pts Ave HS Ranking

1 Dale Steyn SA 895 23.28 902 v SL at Centurion 2011

2 V Philander SA 850* 17.40 859 v NZ at Cape Town 2013

3 Saeed Ajmal Pak 832 27.09 836 v SL at Galle 2012

4 Rangana Herath SL 809 29.95 838 v NZ at Colombo (PSS) 2012

5 Peter Siddle Aus 800 28.51 806 v SL at Hobart 2012

6 James Anderson Eng 759 30.39 813 v Ind at Edgbaston 2011

7 Graeme Swann Eng 755 29.13 858 v Pak at Lord's 2010

8 Morne Morkel SA 746 29.70 776 v Aus at Cape Town 2011

9 Pragyan Ojha Ind 739* 31.62 773 v Eng at Kolkata 2012

10 Ben Hilfenhaus Aus 721* 28.50 757 v WI at Port-of-Spain 2012

11 Abdur Rehman Pak 704* 28.40 739 v Eng at Dubai 2012

12 Kemar Roach WI 698* 27.69 712 v NZ at Kingston 2012

13 Stuart Broad Eng 657 31.93 783 v WI at Lord's 2012

14 S Al Hasan Ban 641 32.53 680 v WI at Mirpur 2011

15 Zaheer Khan Ind 625 32.35 752 v SA at Durban 2010

16 Steven Finn Eng 611* 28.22 621 v SA at Lord's 2012

17 Chris Martin NZ 606 33.81 669 v SA at Hamilton 2012

18 M Johnson Aus 600 30.63 825 v Eng at Cardiff 2009

19 Umar Gul Pak 584 33.66 642 v Eng at Dubai 2012

20 R Ashwin Ind 566* 32.41 595 v Eng at Ahmedabad 2012

All-rounders

Rank Player Team Pts HS Ranking

1 Jacques Kallis SA 396 616 v Pak at Durban 2002

2 S Al Hasan Ban 387 404 v Pak at Mirpur 2011

3 Shane Watson Aus 308/* 394 v SA at Johannesburg 2011

4 Graeme Swann Eng 288 327 v Ban at Chittagong 2010

5 Daniel Vettori NZ 285 412 v Pak at Napier 2009