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Rediff.com  » Sports » Mitchell Johnson breaks into top 10

Mitchell Johnson breaks into top 10

December 02, 2008 16:49 IST

Australia pace bowler Mitchell Johnson continued his rapid rise in the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Player Rankings by breaking into the top 10 for the first time in his career following another good performance against New Zealand at Adelaide.

The 27-year-old left-armer took match figures of 5-85 as Australia registered a comfortable victory over the Black Caps. As a result he gained another four places in the rankings. He now sits in eighth place, level with Shoaib Akhtar of Pakistan and Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas.

It is a remarkable turnaround for the Queenslander considering he was outside the top 30 as recently as last month.

The Adelaide Test was also good for Johnson's team-mate Brett Lee, who took nine wickets and moved back into the top five, from where he had fallen during Australia's recent 2-0 series defeat in India.

With Stuart Clark retaining third place, Australia now has two fast bowlers in the top five again, and three in the top 10, which bodes well ahead of the first Test against South Africa at Perth, traditionally a productive ground for pacers.

Black Caps' skipper Daniel Vettori slipped two places to 14th in the bowling list despite picking two wickets. Number-one spot still belongs to Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralidaran followed by South Africa's Dale Steyn in second place.

The second Test against New Zealand was also a good one for vice-captain Michael Clarke, who scored his ninth century and gained three places to 11th position in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen.

With plenty more Test cricket on the horizon, Clarke now has his sights set on a top 10 place with Virender Sehwag of India and South Africa's Graeme Smith not far ahead of the 27-year-old New South Welshman.

Ponting regained one of the places he lost on the tour to India following a composed 79 in Adelaide and now lies in seventh position, just behind Kevin Pietersen of England.

There was also huge gain for Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, whose maiden Test century has propelled him up 36 places and into the top 50 batsmen for the first time in his career.

Brendon McCullum of New Zealand managed to gain five places to 39th position following his innings of 30 and 84 in the match and Aaron Redmond gained 20 places to 86th position after his 83 and 19 but there was little else for the Kiwis to cheer about in the latest rankings.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies remains at the top followed by Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka in second place.

There is no change in the top five in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders with Jacques Kallis still leading the way, followed by Vettori in second place and England's Andrew Flintoff in third.