India maintains their second spot in LG ICC Test rankings

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Dubai, Mar 20 (UNI) India continued to hold on to their second spot behind Australia in the LG ICC Test Championship, closely trailed by sub-continental rivals Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, South Africa, who are due to visit India for a three-Test series later this month, are at the fourth place with 109 points. The Proteas have the same number of points as Sri Lanka but lag behind them when points are calculated beyond the decimal point.

The main tussle going on at present is between the teams ranked from second to fifth with just four ratings points separating India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and England.

Sri Lanka will drop to fifth on the table if it loses the series against the West Indies, which gets underway in Guyana on March 22.

If Mahela Jayawardena's team loses the two-match series, they will fall two places from third to fifth, below South Africa and England, even if England lose the third and final Test in New Zealand, which starts on Saturday.

There is a mini-battle going on between Pakistan in sixth position and the Kiwis in seventh with the teams currently separated by just one point.

If New Zealand draws or wins the final Test against England at Napier, it will slip ahead of Pakistan but if it loses that match and thus goes down 2-1 in the series, it will fall two points further behind.

Meanwhile, if England wins the final Test, it will gain one ratings point and heap pressure on India, Sri Lanka and South Africa, all of whom have Tests coming up.

Australia is still way out in front at the top of the table, leading by 30 ratings points.

In the LG ICC Test Rankings for batsmen, Sachin Tendulkar is the highest ranked Indian at the 12th spot.

Former captain Rahul Dravid and elegant right-hander VVS Laxman are the only other Indian batsman in the top 20 at the 16th and 19th positions respectively.

Kumar Sangakkara retains his position at the top of the pile ahead of Australians Mike Hussey and Ricky Ponting at the second and third spots respectively.

Jaques Kallis of South Africa and Mohd Yusuf of Pakistan complete the top five.

Among the bowlers, captain Anil Kumble is ranked sixth, closely trailing Makhaya Ntini of South Africa at the fifth position.

Injured pacer Zaheer Khan (13th) and Irfan Pathan (18th) are the other Indians in the top 20.

Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan leads the standings with South African Dale Steyn at the second spot.

UNI XC AB RAR HT1905

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