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Amla, Clarke fight for No 1 spot

Posted on Feb 27, 06:24PM | IBNS

Dubai, Feb 27 : South Africa batsman Hashim Amla and Australia captain Michael Clarke have continued their dogfight for the number-one batting position on the Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings for batsmen.

Both the batsmen excelled in the Centurion and Chennai Tests, which meant both they gained ratings points and as such retained their pre-Test rankings.

Amla has earned eight ratings points following his knock of 92 against Pakistan and became only the 27th batsman in the history of the game to break the 900-rating points barrier, a benchmark for the top batsmen.

Amla, who has been twice shortlisted for the ICC Cricketer of the Year Award, is the fourth South African to achieve this rare feat after Jacques Kallis, Graeme Pollock and Dudley Nourse. The 29-year-old from Durban, who celebrates his 30th birthday next month, is now at a career-best 903 ratings points and in 25th position on the all-time batting ratings list.

Clarke, who was the 26th batsman to break the 900-point mark after the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka, got scores of 131 and 30 in the Chennai Test against India. For this effort, he received five ratings points, which, in turns means the gap between the top two batsmen in the world opened from six to 11 ratings points.

However, Amla has no more Tests before October while Clarke has three more Tests against India to reclaim the number-one batting rank he surrendered to the South African on 4 February after the Cape Town Test.

The latest rankings were released on Tuesday after India's eight-wicket win over Australia in Chennai and South Africa's innings and 18 runs win over Pakistan at Centurion.

There has been some reshuffle in the batting table following the Centurion and Chennai Tests.

South Africa's AB de Villiers has moved up a place to third, India's Sachin Tendulkar has jumped three places to 17th spot, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has charged up 15 places to 21st, Virat Kohli of India has gained 10 places and is now on a career-best 25th position.

In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers, India's Ravichandran Ashwin has been rewarded for his match haul of 12 for 198 with a leap of nine places which has put him in a career-best 11th spot.

There has been no other change in the top 10 of the bowlers' table, which is still headed by South Africa's Dale Steyn with his teammate Vernon Philander in second place.

Philander has gained six ratings points to finish at 890 and trails Steyn by 15 ratings points.

Other bowlers outside the top 20 to make upward movements include James Pattinson in 21st (up by 13), Ravindra Jadeja in 63rd (up by 22), Rory Kleinveldt in 70th (up by six) and Rahat Ali in 81st (up by 39).

Debutants Henriques and Abbott start well

Meanwhile, Australia's debutant all-rounder Moises Henriques has entered the batting table in 57th position following his knocks of 68 and 81 not out at Chennai while South Africa paceman Kyle Abbott has made an entry in the bowlers' table at 48th after his spells of seven for 29 and two for 39.

Reliance ICC Test Championship Table

South Africa has further consolidated its lead at the top of Reliance ICC Test Championship Table.

The 3-0 series win over Pakistan has earned South Africa four ratings points, which has lifted it to 128 ratings points, thereby opening up a 10-point lead over second-ranked England.

Pakistan, on the other hand, has dropped five ratings points to slip below India in fifth position on the Test Championship Table.

Prize Money

South Africa has already sealed its position as the number-one ranked Test side at the 1 April cut-off date with which means it has not only retained the Test mace but has also been assured of a reward of US$450,000.

But a further US$750,000 is still up for grabs. This money will be distributed to teams that will finish second (US$350,000), third (US$250,000) and fourth (US$150,000) on the Championship table at the cut-off date.

As such, India and Australia, as well as second-ranked England, which will take on New Zealand in a three-Test series from 6 March, will be aiming to collect maximum points from their respective series which can help them win the increased incentive in the form of prize money, which was approved by the ICC Board in 2012 and was aimed to promote Test cricket in the period before the ICC Test Championship event in 2017.

The three sides are separated by 13 ratings. Australia may be down 1-0 but will be guaranteed second spot if it wins the remaining three Tests while another win for India will mean England will have to win all the three Tests to retain its second position.

The only way India can drop out of the top four if it loses the series. To move ahead of Australia, Dhoni's side will have to blank out the former No.1 ranked Test side.

The player rankings will now be updated after the Hyderabad Test.


Upcoming fixtures

India v Australia

2nd Test: Hyderabad, 2-6 Mar


Reliance ICC Test Championship table (as on 26 February after South Africa-Pakistan Test series)



Rank (+/-) Team Points

1. (-) South Africa 128 (+4)

2. England 118

3. Australia 117

4. (+1) India 105

5. (-1) Pakistan 104 (-5)

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.



(Developed by David Kendix)



Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 26 February after Centurion and Chennai Tests)



Batsmen



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

1 ( - ) Hashim Amla SA 903! 52.11 903 v Pak at Centurion 2013

2 ( - ) Michael Clarke Aus 892 52.96 900 v SL at Melbourne 2012

3= ( - ) S.Chanderpaul WI 879 51.67 901 v NZ at Napier 2008

(+1) AB de Villiers SA 879! 50.50 879 v Pak at Centurion 2013

5 ( - ) K Sangakkara SL 842 55.80 938 v Eng at Kandy 2007

6 ( - ) Alastair Cook Eng 836 49.42 874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012

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

8 (+2) Kevin Pietersen Eng 759 49.42 909 v WI at Headingley 2007

9 (-1) Jacques Kallis SA 756 56.10 935 v NZ at Centurion 2007

10 (-1) Younus Khan Pak 748 50.74 880 v SL at Lahore 2009

11 ( - ) Azhar Ali Pak 713 42.26 753 v SL at Pallekele 2012

12 (+2) Jonathan Trott Eng 709 49.50 856 v SL at Cardiff 2011

13 ( - ) Graeme Smith SA 696 48.62 843 v Eng at Johannesburg 2010

14 (+1) Matt Prior Eng 693 43.19 698 v Ind at Ahmedabad 2012

15 (-3) Misbah-ul-Haq Pak 687 43.19 771 v Eng at Abu Dhabi 2012

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

17 (+3) Sachin Tendulkar Ind 676 54.46 898 v Zim at Nagpur 2002

18 ( - ) Marlon Samuels WI 668! 37.36 668 v Ban at Khulna 2012

19 ( - ) Darren Bravo WI 661* 46.77 709 v Aus at Port-of-Spain 2012

20 (+1) M Jayawardena SL 652 49.56 883 v Ind at Ahmedabad 2009



Selected Rankings



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

21 (+15) Mahendra Dhoni Ind 646 39.87 662 v SA at Kolkata 2010

22 (-6) Asad Shafiq Pak 639* 40.48 680 v SA at Cape Town 2013

23 (+1) C Pujara Ind 637* 58.07 665 v Eng at Mumbai 2012

25 (+10) Virat Kohli Ind 628*! 41.58 628 v Aus at Chennai 2013

26 (-1) David Warner Aus 613* 44.23 620 v SL at Melbourne 2012

29 (-7) Virender Sehwag Ind 608 49.59 866 v SL at Galle 2010

34 (-6) Alviro Petersen SA 590 38.75 655 v NZ at Cape Town 2013

35 (-2) Faf du Plessis SA 584* 69.75 585 v Pak at Cape Town 2013

37 (-1) Shane Watson Aus 546 36.60 729 v Eng at Perth 2010

40 (-1) M Hafeez Pak 510 35.12 595 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2012

44 (+1) Ed Cowan Aus 488* 32.62 507 v SL at Melbourne 2012

49 (-3) R Ashwin Ind 473* 42.78 490 v Eng at Nagpur 2012

50 (-6) Phillip Hughes Aus 465* 34.50 599 v Eng at Lord's 2009

53 (RE) Imran Farhat Pak 459 32.00 575 v SA at Centurion 2007

56 (-5) Matthew Wade Aus 433* 37.85 465 v SL at Sydney 2013

57 (NEW) M Henriques Aus 431*! 149.00 431 v Ind at Chennai 2013

86 (-3) Harbhajan Singh Ind 293 18.50 364 v WI at Kingston 2011

87 (RE) Murali Vijay Ind 292* 28.40 449 v Aus at Bengaluru 2010

100 (NEW) B Kumar Ind 257*! 38.00 257 v Aus at Chennai 2013



Bowlers



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

1 ( - ) Dale Steyn SA 905 22.65 908 v Pak at Johannesburg 2013

2 ( - ) Vernon Philander SA 890*! 17.13 890 v Pak at Centurion 2013

3 ( - ) Saeed Ajmal Pak 819 27.60 847 v SA at Cape Town 2013

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

5 ( - ) Peter Siddle Aus 785 28.80 806 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 ( - ) Pragyan Ojha Ind 732* 31.62 773 v Eng at Kolkata 2012

9 ( - ) Morne Morkel SA 715 29.97 776 v Aus at Cape Town 2011

10 ( - ) Ben Hilfenhaus Aus 714* 28.50 757 v WI at Port-of-Spain 2012

11 (+9) R Ashwin Ind 699*! 29.86 699 v Aus at Chennai 2013

12 (-1) Kemar Roach WI 698* 27.69 712 v NZ at Kingston 2012

13 (-1) Abdur Rehman Pak 683* 28.40 739 v Eng at Dubai 2012

14 (-1) Stuart Broad Eng 657 31.93 783 v WI at Lord's 2012

15 (-1) Shakib Al Hasan Ban 641 32.53 680 v WI at Mirpur 2011

16 (-1) Zaheer Khan Ind 618 32.35 752 v SA at Durban 2010

17 (-1) Steven Finn Eng 611* 28.22 621 v SA at Lord's 2012

18 (-1) Chris Martin NZ 606 33.81 669 v SA at Hamilton 2012

19 (-1) Mitchell Johnson Aus 594 30.63 825 v Eng at Cardiff 2009

20 (-1) Umar Gul Pak 569 34.06 642 v Eng at Dubai 2012



Selected Rankings



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

21 (+13) James Pattinson Aus 564*! 21.45 564 v Ind at Chennai 2013

26 (-1) Harbhajan Singh Ind 524 32.38 765 v NZ at Wellington 2002

29 (-4) Nathan Lyon Aus 516* 33.93 548 v SA at Adelaide 2012

34 (-2) Ishant Sharma Ind 483 38.44 671 v WI at Dominica 2011

47 (-7) Mitchell Starc Aus 360* 32.00 403 v SL at Sydney 2013

48 (NEW) Kyle Abbott SA 354*! 7.55 354 v Pak at Centurion 2013

50 (-2) M Hafeez Pak 343* 33.00 358 v SA at Cape Town 2013

59 (-2) Robin Peterson SA 288* 32.45 335 v NZ at Port Elizabeth 2013

63 (+22) Ravindra Jadeja Ind 254*! 32.50 254 v Aus at Chennai 2013

70 (+6) Rory Kleinveldt SA 194*! 42.20 194 v Pak at Centurion 2013

81 (+39) Rahat Ali Pak 143*! 37.83 143 v SA at Centurion 2013

83 (-3) Sachin Tendulkar Ind 132* 54.64 235 v Aus at Kolkata 2001

94 (NEW) Ehsan Adil Pak 71*! 27.00 71 v SA at Centurion 2013



All-rounders



Rank (+/-) Player Team Pts HS Ranking

1 ( - ) Shakib Al Hasan Ban 387 404 v Pak at Mirpur 2011

2 ( - ) Jacques Kallis SA 374 616 v Pak at Durban 2002

3 (+3) R Ashwin Ind 331*/*! 331 v Aus at Chennai 2013

4 (+4) Vernon Philander SA 312*/*! 312 v Pak at Centurion 2013

5 (-2) Shane Watson Aus 290 /* 394 v SA at Johannesburg 2011