Sunday, May 10, 2009

Chanderpaul loses his place at the top of batting rankings

Younus regains number-one position; Pietersen, Strauss and Sarwan also fall as Bopara improves; Swann, Edwards and Onions all make gains in bowling list 

West Indies’ Shivnarine Chanderpaul has lost his number-one position in the latest Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen after his side’s 10-wicket defeat to England at Lord’s. 

The Guyanese left-hander, who won the player of the year for 2008 at the LG ICC Awards and has been arguably the West Indies’ best batsman since the retirement of Brian Lara, made just four runs in the match and, as a result, has fallen back to second position, level with Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka. 

Pakistan’s Younus Khan has therefore moved back on top of the rankings, a position he briefly held earlier this year thanks to the triple-century he scored in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Lahore in late February. The 31-year-old is averaging 51.80 through his 60-match Test career so far and the 313 he scored in that match was the 17th-highest Test score in the history of the game. 

Chanderpaul has an immediate chance to make amends, however, with the second and final Test in the series getting underway on Thursday at Chester-le-Street, a ground he knows well having played for Durham in the English County Championship. 

Another batsman who has slipped in the rankings is England’s Kevin Pietersen, whose first-ball duck in the first innings at Lord’s has ensured he drops three places in the latest rankings and now sits in ninth position. 

Also in the top 20, Ramnaresh Sarwan of the West Indies and England captain Andrew Strauss each lose one place to 14th and 16th positions respectively, with Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman benefiting. 

Outside the top 20, Ravi Bopara was the big mover, gaining 45 places to 72nd position after scoring his second Test century for England while Graeme Swann also took a 44-place leap following his unbeaten 63 at Lord’s and he now occupies 122nd position in the rankings. 

Man of the match Swann has also made significant gains in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers as his match haul of 22-6-55-6 helped his side to victory and also nudged him up eight places on the ladder. 

The 30-year-old off-spinner now sits just outside the top 20 in 23rd position with team-mate Monty Panesar (22nd place) and India’s Ishant Sharma (21st) firmly in his sights as the second Test comes around later this week.

England debutant Graham Onions has broken into the rankings in 52nd position following a memorable start to his Test career. The 26-year-old pace bowler took seven wickets in the match and the Durham player can now look forward to making further gains up the rankings during the second Test, on his home ground. 

The bowling of Fidel Edwards was one of the few highlights of the match for the West Indies. His 6-92 in the first innings was the eighth time he had taken five or more wickets in an innings and that performance has earned him two places on the rankings table and moves him back into the top 20 at the expense of Panesar. 

Muttiah Muralidaran of Sri Lanka still leads the bowling chart followed by Dale Steyn of South Africa and Australia’s Mitchell Johnson. 

The news was not so good for Chris Gayle, who has fallen out of the top five of the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders. The big Jamaican has slipped from fifth to sixth position with Chaminda Vaas of Sri Lanka taking his place. The list is still headed by South Africa’s Jacques Kallis followed by Johnson in second and New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori third.

No comments: