Dale Steyn, the South African fast bowler, has taken joint No.1 spot in the ICC Test rankings with the Sri Lankan offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan after another match-winning performance in the second Test against India in Ahmedabad. Since October 2007, Steyn has picked up 75 wickets in 11 Tests, including two ten-wicket hauls at home against New Zealand. Muralitharan's team-mate, Kumar Sangakkara, has been displaced from the top Test batsmen by the Australian Michael Hussey.
Both Steyn and Muralitharan are tied on 897 points, with Muralitharan slipping below 900 points for the first time since June 2006. Steyn's 5 for 23 demolished India for a paltry 76 in the first innings in Ahmedabad and he finished with match figures of 8 for 114. Steyn needed just 22 matches to reach the top, making him among the quickest to reach the summit. Former South African fast bowlers Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald took 33 and 41 matches respectively before they were No.1.
Sangakkara's disappointing two-Test series in the West Indies, during which he scored 95 runs, meant he slipped to third. Hussey, who moved up one place, is currently the only batsman with more than 900 points. Jacques Kallis, the South African batsman who scored his 30th Test century in Ahmedabad, has moved up two places and shares second spot with Ricky Ponting. Shivnarine Chanderpaul's match-winning 86 in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Port of Spain has seen him move into joint seventh position with the Mahela Jayawardene.
Having failed to register a series win after being held 1-1 by West Indies, Sri Lanka have dropped from third to fifth, one below England. India are under pressure to retain their No.2 spot and must win the third Test in Kanpur to maintain their ranking. A draw or a defeat will see them drop two places to fourth.
ICC Test Rankings - Batting
ICC Test Rankings - Bowling