ICC news November 12, 2011

Sangakkara returns to No. 1 in Test rankings

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kumar Sangakkara has replaced Jacques Kallis at the top of the ICC's rankings for Test batsmen, following his strong showing against Pakistan in the UAE. On the bowling front, Dale Steyn extended his lead at the top, while a lethal spell with the ball against South Africa has catapulted Shane Watson into the top ten.

Kallis, who has led the batting rankings for much of the year, dropped three rating-points after his first-innings' duck - his first in four years - against Australia in Cape Town. Sangakkara had scored 516 runs - the second-highest aggregate in a Test series for Sri Lanka - in the three matches against Pakistan, with two hundreds and two half-centuries at an average of 86.00. He was previously No.1 in January this year, before being displaced by Kallis and Sachin Tendulkar. Since then, he has scored 923 runs at a little over 54.00 to regain the top spot.

Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla, who scored fourth-innings' tons to steer South Africa to an eight-wicket win, were the biggest movers in the last week. Smith gained eight places to move into No. 7, while Amla gained four places to slot in at No. 8. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who scored a century in a losing cause against India in Delhi, has also moved up a place to No. 6.

In the bowlers' rankings, Steyn is still comfortably No. 1 and, significantly, has gone past 900 rating-points. He is only the 20th bowler cross the landmark. Steyn, who had begun the Cape Town Test on 899 ratings points, claimed six wickets in the match to finish on 902 points.

Morne Morkel has gained a place in the rankings, displacing Graeme Swann at No. 3. The biggest gainer, though, is Watson, jumping 15 spots to be No. 10, following his 21-ball five-for in Cape Town. He has also gained two places on the allrounders' rankings and is now at No. 3, behind Kallis and Daniel Vettori. Debutant Vernon Philander, whose five-for helped raze Australia for 47 in Cape Town, has entered the rankings in 49th position.