Sachin Tendulkar has surged to the top spot in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen, for the first time since 2002. Tendulkar's heroics in the Test series against Australia earned him 82 rating points, taking him to 891, 17 clear of Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara in the second spot. Virender Sehwag, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Mahela Jayawardene completed the top five.
This is the ninth time Tendulkar has become the top-ranked Test batsman in the world, and the first since the new ratings system came into place. He held the position for the first time in 1994, ahead of consistent runs at the top in the late 90s and early 2000s. His ascension comes close on the heels of his winning the ICC Cricketer of the Year award.
Tendulkar has enjoyed a watershed 2010, topping the run charts with 1270 runs, inclusive of four centuries and two double-hundreds. With India set to play three Tests against New Zealand at home and three Tests in South Africa in the immediate future, Tendulkar has the opportunity to better his career-best rating of 898 and become the 26th batsman to cross the 900-point mark.
Rahul Dravid held on to the 22nd position after a patchy series where he managed only one half-century in four innings. VVS Laxman retained the eighth spot despite missing the Bangalore Test, while M Vijay's maiden century helped him jump 29 places to 57th.
Ricky Ponting's inability to convert starts into centuries may have hampered his side, but his three 70s in four innings helped him climb three spots to the 16th position. Michael Clarke struggled for runs through the series, resulting in him dropping out of the top ten, while Simon Katich also slipped two spots to 14th. Shane Watson, who scored 271 runs in the two Tests, moved up to 24th, while Marcus North's fifth Test hundred lifted him to 46th.
In the bowler ratings, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Ben Hilfenhaus have all gained one place each. Zaheer, who picked 12 wickets in the series and impressed with his reverse swing, surged to 744 rating points, tied fourth with England's James Anderson. Johnson moved up to the seventh spot, one clear of Harbhajan who in turn pushed Doug Bollinger to ninth. Dale Steyn, Graeme Swann and Mohammad Asif continue to hold the top three spots in the bowling table.