Pietersen’s 149 puts him in top 10 again
ENGLAND batsman Kevin Pietersen has returned to the top 10 of the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen after smashing a century against SA in the second Test, which ended in a draw at Headingley in Leeds on Monday.
The latest rankings were released after the conclusion of the Leeds Test.
Pietersen’s knock of 149 in England’s first innings score of 425 not only earned him the man-of-the-match award but also helped him leap seven places to 10th position.
Alistair Cook retained his eighth position after scores of 24 and 46, while Jonathan Trott gained two places and is now just outside the top 10 in 14th position on the list, which is headed by Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara.
SA opener Alviro Petersen, the other centurion of the Leeds Test, was rewarded with a jump of 17 places, placing him in 31st spot. Protea batsman Jacques Rudolph also moved upward to 55th spot.
The news is less good for captains Ross Taylor and Andrew Strauss, as well as Chris Gayle — all dropped in the rankings.
Meanwhile, fast bowler Vernon Philander achieved a career-best ranking as well as career-best rating after match figures of 3/98. He leapfrogged Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Rangana Herath into third position, while his current rating of 797 means he trails his team-mate and No1-ranked Dale Steyn by 91 ratings points and Pakistan’s second-ranked offspinner Saeed Ajmal by 35 ratings points.
England’s Stuart Broad is the other mover inside the top 20. The fast bowler, who recorded match figures of 8/165, climbed two places to seventh.
In the ICC Test Championship, England need to win the Lords Test, starting from August 16, to retain their No1 position. SA require a draw to move to the top of the tree.
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