Melbourne, Mar 12 (ANI): Australia's two most exciting prospects for Ashes 2009 series, Mitchell Johnson and Phillip Hughes, have made big impressions in the latest ICC player rankings.
Johnson, the new pace spearhead in the absence of injured duo Stuart Clark and Brett Lee, has climbed to the second spot in the bowling rankings alongside South African rival Dale Steyn on 811 points.
Left-arm quick Johnson has taken 12 wickets at 21.00 to top the averages in the first two Tests of the three-match series in South Africa, while Steyn has nine wickets at 35.77.
Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan remains the No.1-ranked bowler. Australia's Clark and Lee are ranked fourth and ninth respectively in the world, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Hughes, the 20-year-old opener who this week became the youngest player in Test history to score two centuries in the same Test, has leapt 20 places to 41st in the batting rankings.
Hughes has only played two Tests but has an average of 87.50.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting has moved up one spot to fourth and West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul has reclaimed the top spot.
Australia's 2-0 series advantage over South Africa means Ponting's men have retained their No.1 ranking. (ANI)