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Oz need to win Ashes to retain Test number one spot


Posted: Jul 07, 2009 at 1634 hrs IST

Dubai: Australia's numero uno status in ICC Test rankings is at stake during the Ashes and Ricky Ponting's men would drop to the second spot for the first time if England manage to even draw the series.

England could also overtake Australia at the end of the series, but to make that happen they will have a script history and win every Test, something which no English side has done in a series of five or more Tests since the start of the Ashes over a century ago.

Moreover, Australia's lead over second-placed South Africa will also be trimmed down from nine points to just two points when the annual update is carried out on August 1 and all series completed before August 2006 fall off the table.

These results include Australia's back to back 2-0 and 3-0 wins over South Africa in 2005-06, hence reducing the gap significantly.

After the annual update, Australia (128), will drop four points to 124 ratings points while South Africa will gain three points to rise to 122. England, which currently sits on 101 ratings points, will slip to 99 ratings points.

Meanwhile, India are at third spot with 117 points, two points adrift of South Africa and nine more than Sri Lanka (108).

In Test batsmen rankings headed by Pakistan captain Younis Khan (880), Gautam Gambhir is the highest-ranked Indian at third with 847 points, seven rating points adrift of Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara (854).

The next best Indian batsman is Sachin Tendulkar at 13th, followed by VVS Laxman (15th) and Virender Sehwag (20th). Among the bowlers, Harbhajan Singh is the top Indian at sixth with 735 points. Zaheer Khan (11th) and Ishant Sharma (20th) are the other two Indians in the top 20.

South Africa's Jacques Kallis leads the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders.

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