Gambhir career best high,Dravid takes nosedive in player's Rankings

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Dubai, Nov 3 (UNI) Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has achieved his career-best ranking but former skipper Rahul Dravid has dropped out of the top 20 for the first time in 11 years in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen.

Gambhir, who scored 206 and 36 in the drawn third Test at New Delhi, has rocketed 11 places to the 18th position. He had started the series in 37th position but has climbed 18 places after three Tests in which he has scored 463 runs.

Indian captain Anil Kumble, who announced his retirment from international cricket, is the only bowler to have retained his place in the Rankings for Test bowlers as he ended his illustrious 132-Test career at the 19th position.

It is, however, his lowest ranking since January 1993 when he had dropped out of the top 20 after the Newlands, Cape Town Test against South Africa.

Despite being the third leading wicket-taker (619) in the 131-year history of Test cricket behind Sri Lanka's Muthiah Muralidaran (756) and Australia's Shane Warne (708), Kumble never quite scaled the 900-point mark and never reached the top spot despite being a regular fixture in the top 10.

His highest ranking was second which he achieved in November 1995 after the Chennai Test against New Zealand.

The 37-year-old stalwart also gained four places in the batting and one place in the all-rounders' table to finish his career in 86th and 12th positions respectively.

Man of the match VVS Laxman, who scored 200 not out and 59 not out,has jumped five places to 11th with a place in the top 10 now firmly within his sights.

However, Dravid's slide in the batting ladder continues and following two knocks of 11, the former India captain has dropped eight places to 26th. It is the first time he has dropped out of top 20 since January 1997 when he slipped to 25th after the Johannesburg Test against South Africa.

Dravid has lost 10 places since the start of the series in which he has scored 117 runs.

Opener Virender Sehwag has also lost ground after a disappointing Test and has dropped three places to 13th.

Sachin Tendulkar has retained his 19th position but Saurav Ganguly has slipped one place to 24th spot.

It has been a forgettable Test for the bowlers as the rankings of all the strike bowlers have taken a beating. The only bowler to benefit was Virender Sehwag whose 5-104 in Australia's 577 has lifted him nine places to 48th.

Australia's new ball pair of Stuart Clark and Brett Lee slipped one place each to third and fifth respectively while India's pace duo of Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma dropped two and five places respectively.

Zaheer now shares the 15th spot with Pakistan's Mohammad Asif while Sharma is in 36th position.

For Australia, opener Matthew Hayden has returned to the top 10 after knocks of 83 and 16 not out. The Queenslander has climbed two places to ninth position.

However, Mike Hussey, who took over the number-one tag from the West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul after the first Test in Bangalore, has slipped one more place to fourth while Michael Clarke has also dropped one position to 14th.

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