India to lose second spot in ICC Test rankings to South Africa

Virender Sehwag slipped to the 24th spot in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen Getty Images

Dubai: Jan 16, 2012

Having conceded a 0-3 lead to Australia in the four-Test series so far, the Indian cricket team is all set to lose its second place in the ICC Test ranking to South Africa.

Even the Indian batsmen have lost their ground after the third Test against Australia at Perth with Sachin Tendulkar losing three rating points to be placed at 9th spot in the table, while VVS Laxman is 21st, down by three.

Virender Sehwag is 24th (down by two), Gautam Gambhir is 32nd (down by one) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is 40th (down by four) in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen.

Only exception is Virat Kohli, whose contributions of 44 and 75, have provided him with a leap of 39 places that puts him in 66th spot.

Indian pacer Umesh Yadav is one bowler to have made an upward movement in the bowlers’ list, having claimed his maiden five-wicket haul, which has helped him climb seven places to 43rd.

With India all set to drop in the Championship table, which will be updated after the fourth Test at Adelaide, South Africa can rise to as high as 119 ratings points should it be successful in its away series against New Zealand in March.

However, the England team, which is currently on 125 ratings points and ahead of its closest rivals — India and South Africa by seven and eight ratings points respectively — can put itself beyond South Africa’s reach by either winning a Test in the forthcoming series in the UAE or if it loses the series to Pakistan by a one-Test margin.

Meanwhile, Australian opener David Warner has made a big move, jumping 35 places to be at 34th position in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen, which were updated after the Perth Test.

Ed Cowan, who scored 74 in his only innings, has gained 24 places and sits in 58th position along with Pakistan’s Asad Shafiq.

But Michael Clarke is down by three points to be at 11th position, Mike Hussey is 14th (down by two), Brad Haddin 42nd (down by three) and Shaun Marsh 89th (down by three).

Australia’s fast bowler Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus have achieved career-best rankings after inspiring their side to an innings and 37 runs victory.

Siddle, who won the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year award at the LG ICC Awards in Johannesburg in 2009, had figures of three for 42 and three for 43 that have given him a lift of two places and puts him in fifth position.

Hilfenhaus had match figures of eight for 97, which have helped him break into the top 10 for the first time in his career.

The 28-year-old Tasmanian has jumped five places to sixth position to trail Siddle by just 18 ratings points.

Hilfenhaus had entered the series in 31st position and has gained 25 positions so far after claiming 23 wickets at 16.

The bowlers’ list is headed by South Africa’s Dale Steyn, while England’s James Anderson, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad are second, third and fourth, respectively.

The Test player rankings will next be updated after the Dubai Test. (PTI)