Oz batsmen move up Reliance Mobile ICC player rankings

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Dubai, July 13 (ANI): Australia's batsmen are on the move in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen with three of them achieving career-best rankings after a nail-biting finish in the first Ashes Test against England at Cardiff.

pener Simon Katich, middle-order batsmen Marcus North and wicket-keeper Brad Haddin all scored centuries to help Australia declare its first innings at 674-6 in reply to England's first innings score of 435. And for these efforts, all the three batsmen have been rewarded with big jumps in the rankings which are updated after every Test.

Katich, who scored 122, has gone up by four places and now sits in 14th position alongside India great Sachin Tendulkar. Marcus North, who struck an unbeaten 125, has rocketed 23 places to 43rd position while Haddin, who scored 121, has climbed six places to 30th spot.

Besides the trio, captain Ricky Ponting has also inched towards the top five after scoring an elegant 150 and is now in sixth place after swapping positions with Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardena, vice-captain Michael Clarke has replaced South Africa captain Graeme Smith in eighth place and opener Phillip Hughes has lifted himself two places to 33rd position.

Australia's only disappointment is the fall of Mike Hussey whose first innings contribution of three has resulted in him dropping of the top 20 for the first time since his rapid rise up the table at the start of his international career.

England's only batsman to make an upward movement is Paul Collingwood who has returned to the top 20 by climbing five places to 19th position after scoring two half-centuries in the match, including a gritty 74 in the second innings that spanned almost six hours of batting.

Three of the top four England batsmen - Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara - have dropped in the latest rankings while Kevin Pietersen has managed to hang on to his 10th place.

England captain Strauss, who scored 30 and 17, has dropped out of the top 20 after falling three places to 22nd place, Cook has slipped three places to 24th position after a match contribution of 26 runs and Bopara has dropped eight places to 59th position after scores of 35 and one.

Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan lead a Pakistan 1-2 in the batting table with India's Gautam Gambhir in third place.

In the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers, the only change in the top 20 is England fast bowler Andrew Flintoff who has slipped two places to 19th position.

The bowling list is headed by Sri Lanka's iconic spinner Muttiah Muralidaran who is likely to concede his number-one spot to South Africa's Dale Steyn when the latest rankings are released at the end of the second Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. In the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders, Flintoff has dropped one place to fifth after figures of 1-128 with the ball and contributions of 37 and 26 with the bat.

Jacques Kallis continues to lead the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders with Mitchell Johnson of Australia in second and New Zealand's Daniel Vettori third. (ANI)

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