Michael Clarke earns career-best ranking

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Dubai, Aug 10 (ANI): Australia's vice-captain Michael Clarke has assumed second position in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen after his impressive performance with the bat during his team's easy victory over England in the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley.

The 28-year-old New South Welshman is now sitting just seven ratings points beneath Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara and has pushed India's Gautam Gambhir into third place after his 93 in Leeds helped his side to an innings victory that levels the closely fought series 1-1 with one match to play.

Second position is the highest ranking of Clarke's career so far and is the continuation of his consistent progress up the ladder having broken into the top 20 at the end of 2006, during the last Ashes series.

Clarke's captain Ricky Ponting is also reflecting on a personally satisfying match with his innings of 78 earning him two places. It puts him back up to seventh in the rankings.

England's Paul Collingwood has slipped six places in the rankings to drop out of the top 20 after failing to score in the first innings at Headlingley and then departing for just four in the second.

However, Australia's Marcus North has broken into the top 30 with his second century of the Ashes series, and is now ranked 29th, making a leap of 17 places and claiming his highest ranking since making his Test debut in February of this year.

In the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers Australia's Peter Siddle has made it into the top 20 for the first time with a climb of eight places to 17th position.

Siddle's bowling figures of 6-71 at Headingley, including 5-21 in the first innings, have seen him climb to his highest position to date in the rankings while England's Stuart Broad has also climbed eight places to just outside the top 20.

Broad is now in 24th position in the rankings which is his highest career ranking to date after the 24-year-old right-arm fast bowler took figures of 6-91.

The bowling list still ranks South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn at the top with Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralidaran occupying second place and Australia's Mitchell Johnson in third.

After missing the Leeds Test through injury England's Andrew Flintoff has slipped one place to fifth position in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders. The number-one all-rounder is still Jacques Kallis of South Africa with Johnson second and New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori third. (ANI)

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