Ponting regains top spot in ICC Test rankings

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Dubai, Dec 23 (UNI) Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting regained the top spot in the LG ICC Test rankings for batsmen after Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara slipped two places to move to the third position.

Sangakkara held the top spot for a very brief period when he scored 92 and 152 in the first Test against England in Kandy. But he managed only one run in the second Test in Colombo which was enough to take him down the ladder, two rating points behind South Africa's Jacques Kallis in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen.

Ponting and Kallis will get their opportunities to fight for the first spot as Australia will take on India at home and South Africa will play against West Indies from December 26. On the other hand, Sangakkara will not get his chance to attack the top position until March next year when Sri Lanka goes head-to-head with the West Indies in a two-Test series.

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene's 213 not out in Galle was just enough to take him three positions ahead of Kevin Pietersen (Eng), Matthew Hayden (Aus) and Younis Khan (Pak) at sixth position.

Jayawardene made good progress in the series against England at home. The former skipper, who started the series at the 12th spot, aggregated 474 runs in the three matches.

In the LG ICC Test rankings for bowlers, India's Zaheer Khan was left behind at the 13th spot by Sri Lanka's pace spearhead Chaminda Vaas who claimed 11 wickets against England. Vaas is currently holding the 12th position.

Spin wizard Muttaih Murlitharan continued his reign at the top after he claimed 19 wickets in the series against England with South Africa's Makhaya Ntini at the second spot.

England fast bowlers Matthew Hoggard, Ryan Sidebottom and spinner Monty Panesar slipped in the bowlers rankings despite gutsy efforts in Galle.

Though England lost the series, opener Alaister Cook and Steve Harmison earned personal consolations as they climbed five and three places in the batsmen and bowlers' rankings respectively.

In the LG ICC rankings for Test all-rounders, there was no change with Kallis having a comfortable lead at the top.

LG ICC Test Championship: 1. Australia (143), 2. South Africa (109), 3. Sri Lanka (109), 4. India (109), 5. England (107), 6. Pakistan (94), 7. New Zealand (91), 8. West Indies (72), 9. Bangladesh (4) Top 10 Batsmen: 1. Ricky Ponting (Aus) 936, 2. Jacques Kallis (SA) 935, 3. Kumara Sangakkara (SL) 933, 4. Mohd Yousuf (Pak) 880, 5. Michael Hussey (Aus) 874, 6. Mahela Jayawardena (SL) 835, 7. Kevin Pietersen (Eng) 804, 8. Matthew Hayden (Aus) 803, 9. Younus Khan (Pak) 799, 10. Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI) 762 Top 10 Bowlers: 1. M Muralidaran (SL) 907, 2. Makhaya Ntini (SA) 808, 3. Dale Steyn (SA) 775, 4. Stuart Clark (Aus) 769, 5. Anil Kumble (Ind) 732, 6. Brett Lee (Aus) 726, 7. Shane Bond (NZ) 724, 8. Shaun Pollock (SA) 701, 9. Matthew Hoggard (Eng) 695, 10. Shoaib Akhtar (Pak) 684 Top 5 All-rounders: 1. Jacques Kallis (SA) 551, 2. Andrew Flintoff (Eng) 340, 3. Shaun Pollock (SA) 329, 4. Daniel Vettori (NZ) 316, 5. Chaminda Vaas (SL) 276 UNI

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