Sehwag becomes top ranking India batsman

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Dubai,Mar 31 (UNI) Opener Virender Sehwag, who made the fastest ever test triple century against South Africa in Chennai has become the top ranked India batsman in the latest ICC Test Rankings.

Spinner Harbhajan Singh has climbed four places to 24th position after match figures of 8-265.

Irfan Pathan is the highest ranked India all-rounder in seventh place while captain Anil Kumble is in 10th position.

Sehwag, who blasted 319 off in 278 balls, leaps 13 places to 12th spot in the rankings for Test batsman after a massive 17 per cent rise in his rating following his breathtaking batting display.

His ranking is highest in two years while in 2004, the 29-year-old from New Delhi had jumped to second place behind team-mate Rahul Dravid.

On current form, Sehwag has a realistic chance of returning to the top 10. He is within touching distance of 10th place Kevin Pietersen of England, who is just behind ninth-placed Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies.

He has leapfrogged Dravid, who himself rises two places to 13th spot following his 25th Test century, Sachin Tendulkar, who drops three places to 15th position after a fifth-ball duck, and VVS Laxman, down one place to 18th spot.

Besides Sehwag, South Africa's batting duo of Hashim Amla and Neil McKenzie have also made significant upward movement.

Amla, who made scores of 159 and 81, in the Chennai test rockets up 10 places to a career-best 24th spot while McKenzie, who contributed 94 and 155 not out, jumps 26 places to 36th position. It is McKenzie's first time in the top 40 in four years.

Jacques Kallis, however, continues his slide in the rankings as he slips another place to drop to fourth behind Australia's Ricky Ponting, while captain Graeme Smith falls two places to 16th position.

In the Rankings for Test bowlers, South Africa's Dale Steyn took 4-103 to stay within touching distance of Sri Lanka's Muthiah Muralitharan, who still leads the list.

Ranking for Test all-rounders is still headed by Kallis but he is on the verge of dropping below the 500-point mark after conceding 23 ratings points from the Chennai Test.

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