Streak retains top 20 spot

AUSTRALIA’S Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne have closed the gap to top spot in the LG ICC Test player rankings for batsmen and bowlers respectively.


Ponting&#

8217;s twin half-centuries against South Africa in Perth have taken him to 875 ranking points, up one place to second in the batting table (ahead of Brian Lara) and he is now just 10 points behind Jacques Kallis, who missed the match through injury.


Warne, meanwhile, is only one point behind Australia team-mate Glenn McGrath after taking six wickets, including his number 650 in Tests, as the match finished in a draw to leave the series all square as the teams go to Melbourne, Australia.


Double centurion Brad Hodge moves up a massive 68 places to number 44, and is just six places behind Mike Hussey, himself up six places to 38 in the batting list.


Matthew Hayden drops one place in that batting list to seventh while his team-mate Justin Langer, ruled out of the next Test with a hamstring injury, moves up three places to number 11. Adam Gilchrist is down five spots to number 16.


Jacques Rudolph, whose match-saving innings in Perth was his first Test hundred this year, is rewarded with a move up 11 places to 42 in the batting table while Justin Kemp, who kept him company for 51 overs in South Africa’s second innings, is number 106.


South Africa’s leading batsman in the LG ICC Test rankings for batsmen is captain Graeme Smith at number 15, down three places, while Herschelle Gibbs is number 20 (down one place) and AB de Villiers at 22 (up two).


Makhaya Ntini is South Africa’s top bowler in the LG ICC Test rankings, rising three places to joint fourth and is now just short of his best-ever haul of ratings points.


Ntini’s new ball partner, Shaun Pollock, moves down three places but still remains in the top 10 (he is ninth) while Andre Nel is holding firm at 11th.


Aside from Warne and McGrath, Australia’s other main bowlers in Perth have both moved in the right direction. Brett Lee continues his move back up the rankings, up one spot to number 24, while Nathan Bracken is up four places to number 68.


The second between Australia and South Africa begins on Boxing Day in Melbourne, with the third and final Test on in Sydney starting on January 6.


Meanwhile, former Zimbabwe all-rounder and captain, Heath Streak retained his position in the top 20 (number 19) bowling list after announcing in August his retirement from international cricket. — ICC media.


LG ICC Test Top Five Individual Rankings:


Batsmen:


Rank (Change) Player Team Pts Avge

1 ( – ) Jacques Kallis SA 885 57.07

2 (+1) Ricky Ponting Aus 875 56.15

3 (-1) Brian Lara WI 874 53.86

4 (-1) Inzamam-ul-Haq Pak 870 51.61

5 ( – ) Rahul Dravid Ind 844 57.16


Bowlers:


Rank (Change) Player Team Pts Avge

1 ( – ) Glenn McGrath Aus 864 21.41

2 ( – ) Shane Warne Aus 863 25.01

3 ( – ) M.Muralidaran SL 862 22.33

4= ( – ) Shoaib Akhtar Pak 798 24.75

5 (-1) Rahul Dravid Ind 844 57.16

19 ( – ) Heath Streak Zim 607 28.14


All-rounders:


Rank Player Team Points


1 Kallis SA 486

2 Flintoff Eng 454

3 Pollock SA 317

4 Jayasuriya SL 282

5 Vettori NZ 279 — ICC Media.