Chance for Indian cricketers to improve rankings


Dubai : India has only two players – spinner Anil Kumble and captain Rahul Dravid – among the top 10 bowlers and batsmen in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings.

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But the picture could change after India's three-Test series against England starting at Lord's Thursday.

Placed eighth, master batsman Dravid has 801 rating points while leg-spinner Kumble is joint third with South Africa's Shaun Pollock with 730 points, according to ICC.

England's bowlers also have a chance of making further progress if they do well.

Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar is currently at a career-best ranking of sixth, equal with teammate and seamer Matthew Hoggard, and either of them could conceivably rise as high as third if things go their way.

Panesar, in particular, will be full of confidence after his 23 wickets at 18.13 apiece in the recent four-Test home series against the West Indies.

Another fine performance has the potential to lift him above New Zealand's Shane Bond, Pollock and even perhaps Kumble into third position.

In the West Indies series, Hoggard played just the first and fourth Tests due to a thigh strain but is now back to full fitness. With frontline fast bowler Steve Harmison ruled out of the entire series the Yorkshire man will be the man leading the new ball attack.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting leads the batting charts with 936 points and Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan is atop the bowling list with a career best 920 points.


1. Ricky Ponting (Australia) 936 rating points
2. Mohammed Yousuf (Pakistan) 915
3. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) 900!
4. Kevin Pietersen (England) 862
5. Mike Hussey (Australia) 842*!
6. Matthew Hayden (Australia) 828
7. Jacques Kallis (South Africa) 820
8. Rahul Dravid (India) 801
9. Younis Khan (Pakistan) 789
10. Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies) 762


1. Muttiah Muralidaran (Sri Lanka) 920!
2. Makhaya Ntini (South Africa) 856
3=. Anil Kumble (India) 730 and Shaun Pollock (South Africa) 730
5. Shane Bond (New Zealand) 722*
6=. Matthew Hoggard (England) 721 and Monty Panesar (England) 721*!
8. Stuart Clark (Australia) 720 *!
9. Mohammed Asif (Pakistan) 710*!
10. Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan) 698


1. Jacques Kallis (South Africa) 462
2. Andrew Flintoff (England) 384
3. Shaun Pollock (South Africa) 356
4. Daniel Vettori (New Zealand) 329!
5. Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka) 271

* indicates provisional rating. A batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings, a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets

! indicates career best rating