Batsmen dominate latest Reliance ICC Player Rankings

Hashim Amla of South Africa has returned to the top three, Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews has achieved a career-best ranking and Ian Bell of England has earned a place in the top 20 of the latest Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, which were released on Friday morning.

Amla, who scored 139 not out and 25 in Colombo to inspire his side back to the number-one Test ranking, has earned 34 ratings points for his achievement, which has help him leapfrog Australia’s David Warner and Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies into third position.

He now trails second-ranked Kumar Sangakkara by 11 ratings points, while AB de Villiers is sitting on top of the tree on 899 ratings points.

Mathews led his side’s spirited fightback in the second Test when he scored 63 and 63 not out. This performance has given him a lift of four places to a career-high sixth position.

Mahela Jayawardene’s 165 was the cornerstone of Sri Lanka’s 421 in the first innings and for this effort, the former Sri Lanka captain not only won the man of the match award but was also given a rise of four places that has put him in 14th spot.

At Rose Bowl, England’s colossal first innings total of 569 for seven declared revolved around Ian Bell’s 167, Gary Ballance’s 156, captain Alastair Cook’s 95 and debutant wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler’s 85. In the second innings, Cook contributed 70 not out, Ballance chipped in with 38 and Bell scored 23. As such, there were no surprises when the latest rankings reflected significant changes to their respective rankings.

Bell has gained five places to return to the top 20 in 19th position, Ballance has rocketed 16 places to a career-best 31st spot, Cook has moved up seven places to 22nd spot and Buttler has made an entry on the table in 63rd spot.

The only positive news for the India batsmen was the improvement in Ajinkya Rahane’s rankings. The middle-order batsman scored 54 and 52 not out to rise nine places to a career-best 26th position.

Sri Lanka spinners Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera lead the bowlers’ charge in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers while James Anderson and Moeen Ali of England have also headed in the right direction.

Herath had figures of four for 71 and five for 40 and these performances have given him a push of seven places to put him in eight position. Off-spinner Perera had match figures of eight for 129 and he was rewarded with a jump of 10 places that has put him in career-best 29th place.

Anderson, who collected the man of the match award for his five for 53 and two for 24, has moved up one place to seventh, while Moeen’s second innings figures of six for 67 that spun India out for 178 after being set a target of 445, has stormed 34 places to 38th position.

India’s Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have also improved their rankings. After gaining three places, Jadeja is now in 25th spot while Kumar is now in 32nd position after rising two places.

South Africa’s Dale Steyn leads the bowlers’ rankings by a distance. The 31-year-old fast bowler took four wickets in the Colombo Test and though he has dropped three ratings points, he still leads his closest rival Ryan Harris of Australia by 33 ratings points.

There is no change in the top five of the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test All-rounders with South Africa’s Vernon Philander leading Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh by one ratings point.