ICC news November 29, 2010

Sangakkara reclaims top spot in Test ratings

ESPNcricinfo staff
119

Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, has reclaimed the top spot in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen, ending Sachin Tendulkar's short-lived stay at the head of the table.

Sangakkara's performance in the first two Tests of the ongoing series against West Indies coincided with Tendulkar's modest returns against New Zealand, leading to a swap at the top. Sangakkara has so far scored 228 runs in the West Indies series, taking him to 882 rating points, 23 clear of Tendulkar who could manage only one half-century in four innings against New Zealand. Virender Sehwag is in the third place, nine points behind Tendulkar, while Jacques Kallis is fourth, with 806.

South Africa's AB de Villiers and England's Jonathan Trott have broken into the top ten for the first time, following strong performances against Pakistan and Australia respectively. de Villiers amassed an unbeaten 278 in Abu Dhabi, the highest Test score by a South Africa batsman, propelling him to fifth. Trott's unbeaten 135 was a part of England's strong second-innings resistance in the Ashes-opener, helping his side earn a creditable draw, and lifting him to the eighth spot.

On the bowling front, India's fast-bowling spearhead, Zaheer Khan, surged to third in the Test ratings, his highest classification to date. South Africa seamer Dale Steyn and England offspinner Graeme Swann retained the top two positions. Australia's Peter Siddle, who picked up six wickets on the first day at the Gabba, including a hat-trick, rose to the 14th spot, while England seamer Steven Finn moved up to 19th on the back of his six-for.

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  • CandidIndian on December 6, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    @Lakmalphysics and all SL fans-My SL friend , i am sorry to say that youhave wrong perception that Indians dont give due respect to Srilankans .You know what after the debacle in 2007 world cup it was decided that India would play most matches against STRONG TEAMS and whom did India play most?, Srilanka and Australia.If they dont recognize SL as top team why would they play against SL twice every year?About insulting SL players it was done by players media and fans from Aus and Eng not India.You very well know how Murali was wooed in Aus, did anything like that happened with Murali in India?only Indian cricketer i remember insulting Srilankan greats is Bedi but he has habit of insulting everyone including Dhoni and Bhajji.If you consider top five good teams presently,SL,SA,Aus,Eng,India.You knw who among these play most against SL?you may find stupid comments by few Indians in cricket forums but i humbly request not to disrespect and target Indian cricket because of that.Peace.

  • LakmalPhysics on December 5, 2010, 2:51 GMT

    @Hema_Adhikari: Well, rating SRT, Lara & Ponting ahead of Sanga in any case is not acceptable. Sanga has played really well, specially last 4 years and he has justified his rankings in most occasions. He has performed really well, and his performance is always as good as SRT, Lara & Ponting. In my opinion, Sanga's rank is not below SRT , Lara & Ponting. These four players are real superstars of the game with different styles. Nobody can be rated above or below. My only concern is rating Sachin as the best. Stat or intuition doesn't help me to accept Sachin as the best, under any circumstance.

  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on December 5, 2010, 0:57 GMT

    Like Sangkkara is Jayawardene a flat track bully too? he averages 65.09 in Sri Lanka, but 43.06 away from home. It gets even worse outside Asia, where his average dips to 38.33. Taking Zimbabwe out of the equation, his average drops even more, to 36.06.

  • CandidIndian on December 4, 2010, 22:21 GMT

    @Lakmalphysics and all SL fans-My SL friend , i am sorry to say that youhave wrong perception that Indians dont give due respect to Srilankans .You know what after the debacle in 2007 world cup it was decided that India would play most matches against STRONG TEAMS and whom did India play most?, Srilanka and Australia.If they dont recognize SL as top team why would they play against SL twice every year?About insulting SL players it was done by players media and fans from Aus and Eng not India.You very well know how Murali was wooed in Aus, did anything like that happened with Murali in India?only Indian cricketer i remember insulting Srilankan greats is Bedi but he has habit of insulting everyone including Dhoni and Bhajji.If you consider top five good teams presently,SL,SA,Aus,Eng,India.You knw who among these play most against SL?you may find stupid comments by few Indians in cricket forums but i humbly request not to disrespect and target Indian cricket because of that.Peace.

  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on December 4, 2010, 17:22 GMT

    Hema said "Sangakkara is no doubt a good batsman and he has the avg to justify it as well. But to compare him to SRT, Lara or ponting is baloney. I would rate him on par with Dravid (again debatable as Dravid has played much better on livelier tracks). Not getting enough opportunities to play more test matches overseas is unfortunate for him, but coming to hypothetical conclusions based on assumptions that, had he got opportunities he would performed is not logical when you have players who have already been there, done that." This is the most sane comment so far. I think comparing Sanga to Sachin is like comparing promise with performance. It is neither India's nor Tendulkar's fault that SL does not play too many matches in England, SA or Australia. Tendulkar averages 60+ against Australia over last two decades including the time when they were invincible. Sangkara may have done reasonably OK but I dont see him averaging anywhere near 40 against Warne and McGrath.

  • Gulshan_Grover on December 4, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    @SadSajith..quite emotional but mostly not true..Srilanka produces flatest tracks in the world and it is quite proven as it has more 500+ innings in tests played there/ match and second Sangkara does not have a better away than home average, in fact he has one of the biggest differences in home and away averages matches.

  • sadSajith on December 4, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    @Gulshan Grover Don't let us think Indians are stupid people.Go back and see Sangas non sub-continent average is bigger than sub-continent average.And do you know? the only two flack track(hard dry track ) in Sri Lanka are SSC and Gall(If you say Dambulla is a flat track why Indian scores are 120-160 out their).Most of dry hard tracks are in India.You are the guys who made a pitch to score over 800 runs in a ODI match.That flat track story was told by Aussies against Sachin long ago.As always you guys eat it without any consideration.

  • Hema_Adhikari on December 4, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    Sangakkara is no doubt a good batsman and he has the avg to justify it as well. But to compare him to SRT, Lara or ponting is baloney. I would rate him on par with Dravid (again debatable as Dravid has played much better on livelier tracks). Not getting enough opportunities to play more test matches overseas is unfortunate for him, but coming to hypothetical conclusions based on assumptions that, had he got opportunities he would performed is not logical when you have players who have already been there, done that. SRT, Lara or poniting definitely for me, is a level higher. Picking and choosing innings like people have done does not do a great deal other than stating the obvious that sanga is a fantastic batsman, however that does not prove that he is on par with SRT, Lara or Pointing. Plus in the decade that he has played most of the tracks have been flat and great bowlers retired.

  • Gulshan_Grover on December 4, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    Sangkara is a flat track bully who hardly performs outside subcontinent . His average has swollen due to playing on road like pitches like one at the SSC and Premdasa stadium; two of the flattest wickets in the world. He has only played played 3 tests in Australia when Australia's great bowlers were already retired. Sachin Tendulkar has been worlds most consistent batsman over two decades now, to compare him to Kumara Sangkra is not fair for either of them.

  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on December 4, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman since Don Bradman. A fact that has been recognized by Sir Don, Viv Richards and now Brian Lara. Cherry picking stats is one thing denying the weight of 30000 international runs and 100 centuries is quite another thing! Along the way Shane Warne, Alan Donald, Wasim Akram and Ian Bishop have endorsed his greatness. What more can one say :) He is the best.

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