Tendulkar crashes to lowest Test ranking since 1992

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Dubai, Aug 12 (UNI) Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar has dropped to his lowest ranking in 15 years in the ICC Player rankings for Test batsmen after a disappointing series against Sri Lanka which India lost 2-1.

Tendulkar, who started the series at the 13th position, finished in the 23rd place after scoring 95 runs at an average of 15.83. He dropped six places after scores of six and 14 in the third and final Test which Sri Lanka won by eight wickets to clinch the series.

It is his lowest ranking since late 1992 after spending over 15 years in the top 20 apart from a very brief spell at the end of 2006.

Tendulkar, who is just 76 runs short of becoming the leading run-getter in Test cricket history, last occupied the top batting position six years ago after the 2002 Headingley Test in England.

The batting maestro's drop is the only bad news for the Indian batsmen as the others have made good upward progress.

Virender Sehwag has become the highest-ranked Indian batsman after returning to the top 10 for the first time since March 2006.

Sehwag, who scored an impressive 344 runs in the series, has improved one place to 10th with Pakistan's Younus Khan firmly within his sights.

VVS Laxman, who scored 25 and 61 not out in the series decider, has climbed three places to 15th position, while Rahul Dravid shares the 16th place with England's Alistar Cook. Dravid improves his position by two places after scores of 10 and 68 in the last Test, while Cook jumped four places following his contribution of 39 and 67 in the Oval Test.

Sourav Ganguly has improved his ranking by one place and now sits at the 25th position while opener Gautam Gambhir, who was the second leading run-getter for his side with 310 runs, is in 37th place after jumping 12 places.

For Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara has just missed out on reclaiming the top slot from West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The 30-year-old from south paw, who dropped to fifth after the second Test in Galle, has jumped to the second position after hitting a superlative 144 in Sri Lanka's first innings score of 396.

However, a knock of just four in the second innings, when Sri Lanka was chasing 123 for victory, denied him the top place.

In the rankings for Test bowlers, India captain Anil Kumble has dropped a place following figures of 3-157 in the third Test at Colombo.

He shares the 10th spot with England's Monty Panesar who has jumped three places.

Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan are the other Indian bowlers in the top 20 at the 12th and 19th positions respectively. They have lost one place each.

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