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ICC Test Championship

Sangakkara has opportunity to make his mark

Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara has the opportunity to climb another place in LG ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen over the next couple of weeks as he prepares for a three-match home series against Bangladesh

James Fitzgerald
23-Jun-2007
Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara has the opportunity to climb another place in LG ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen over the next couple of weeks as he prepares for a three-match home series against Bangladesh.
Sangakkara has been steadily improving in recent seasons and is currently occupying fourth place in the rankings, just five rating points behind England batting sensation Kevin Pietersen in third spot.
The left-hander's current rating points tally of 857 is a career best and makes him the highest rated Sri Lanka player of all time and 47th in the rankings for all batsmen who have ever played Test cricket.
A good series with the bat will push him above Pietersen although the Hampshire player, who turns 27 next Wednesday, will have to opportunity to regain that place when England takes on India in a three-Test series in July and August.
Despite a more than adequate series against the West Indies, Pietersen has recently dropped below the magic 900 rating points mark, indicating how difficult it is to maintain that score.
Sangakkara's captain Mahela Jayawardena is the only other Sri Lanka player in the top 20 and given the way he is playing these days he will feel he is in the right form to make moves upwards from his current position of 14th.
The 30-year-old was recently named player of the series as he led the Asia XI to victory in the Afro-Asian Cup, averaging 73.88 in the three-ODI series. He will be looking to translate that good one-day form into Test success when he takes the field in the first Test on 25 June.
With no Bangladesh batsmen or bowlers currently in the top 20 of the LG ICC Test Player Rankings, this three-match series will be a good opportunity for some of them to make their mark. Habibul Bashar is currently in joint 35th position with India's Sourav Ganguly while there is also a good chance for the likes of Rajin Saleh, Shahriar Nafees and captain Mohammad Ashraful to move up the log.
Meanwhile, number one-ranked Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralidaran is the only bowler who currently has in excess of 900 rating points. His current tally of 913 is just two behind his career best of 915 that he achieved during a series against Pakistan in 2002.
While Muralidaran is way out in front of the current rankings, he can also make his mark on history if he continues to dominate batsmen the way he does. He sits fourth in the all-time bowling rankings with his sights set firmly on the three names above him, Imran Khan of Pakistan (922 points), George Lohmann (931) and Sydney Barnes (932).
Muralidaran's team-mate Chaminda Vaas will be seeking a return to the top ten of the LG ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers with another strong series. He is currently in 13th position with Corey Collymore of the West Indies and England's Andrew Flintoff not far ahead.
Mohammad Rafique and Mashrafe Mortaza of Bangladesh have good opportunities to improve upon their current positions in the bowling ranking of 29th and 36th, respectively.
Upcoming fixtures:
25-29 June - Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, Colombo
3-7 July - Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, Colombo
11-15 July - Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, Kandy

James Fitzgerald is ICC Communications Officer