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Gambhir breaks into top 10

December 24, 2008 19:43 IST

Opener Gautam Gambhir's stupendous year with the willow today helped him jump 10 spots to 10th in the ICC Test Rankings, making him the highest-ranked Indian batsman in the list.

The diminutive Delhi batsman has scored more than 1000 runs this calendar year, including three hundreds in his last four Tests.

Gambhir, who made 179 and 97 in the second and final Test against England at Mohali, amassed 361 runs in the two-match series against England at an average of 90.25.

The 27-year-old was in 37th place in October but had rocketed 27 places since then after scoring 824 runs in five Tests at an average of 82.4.

However, it is down-slide for his more famous team-mates.

Virender Sehwag (13th) and Sachin Tendulkar (18th), who scripted a memorable win in the first Test against England in Chennai, as also VVS Laxman (18th), have slipped outside the top 10.

Rahul Dravid, who ended his extended lean patch with a century at Mohali, climbed two places to 28th. The same is for another star performer in Chennai, Yuvraj Singh who jumped 10 places to 46th.

Among bowlers, India's player of the series against England, Zaheer Khan, has gained two places to 12th position while his team-mate Harbhajan Singh has gone also up two places to eighth.

Meanwhile, Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies has strengthened his hold on the top of the batting chart by becoming only the 25th batsman in the history of Test cricket and the sixth West Indian to reach the magic 900-point mark.

The 34-year-old Chanderpaul, who won the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2008 award at the ICC Awards in Dubai, reached the milestone while making 126 not out in the first innings against New Zealand in the Napier Test which ended in a draw.

There was no good news for Australia whose captain Australia captain Ricky Ponting has dropped three places to ninth -- his lowest ranking since October 2002. 

Mike Hussey has slipped two places to sixth, Michael Clarke has dropped one place to 12th and Matthew Hayden has slipped three places to 16th.

England captain Kevin Pietersen has returned to the top five for the first time in 14 months and now sits in fifth place after jumping three places due to a magnificent innings of 144 at Mohali against India.

Another new addition to the top 20 is South Africa's AB de Villiers whose 63 and 106 not out was the cornerstone of South Africa's six-wicket victory over Australia in a record final-innings run-chase of 414. 

This performance has lifted him seven places to 17th in the rankings.

The bowlers' list is still headed by Sri Lanka's iconic spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

Australia's Mitchell Johnson has broken into the top five for the first time after his man-of-the-match performance in the Perth Test where he had match figures of 11 for 159. 

South Africa's Makhaya Ntini recorded figures of 4 for 72 and 1 for 76 which have helped him rise to third place and is now just behind second-placed team-mate Dale Steyn who had figures of 4 for 162.

There is no change in the top five in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders as South Africas Jacques Kallis enjoys a commanding lead over New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori.

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