Swann break into top-five in ICC rankings

December 31st, 2009 - 8:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan Singh Dubai, Dec 31 (IANS) England off-spinner Graeme Swann has capped off a memorable year by breaking into the top five of the Reliance Mobile International Cricket Council’s rankings for Test bowlers.
Swann finishes 2009 in third position in the bowlers’ category after his man-of-the-match performance in the second Test against South Africa in Durban.

The 30-year-old took match haul of nine wickets, including a five-wicket haul in the second innings and, that pushed him up by eight places, moving ahead of spin rivals Harbhajan Singh and Muttiah Muralitharan.

Swann’s form with the bat- he scored 85 in the first innings of the Centurion Test - has taken him to fourth position behind Australia’s Mitchell Johnson in the all-rounder’s list.

Stuart Broad has gained six places to seventh in the bowling rankings.

The picture is not as rosy for most of South Africa’s bowlers. Veteran pacer Makhaya Ntini has slipped four places to eighth position after failing to take a wicket in the match while left-arm slow bowler Paul Harris has dropped five places, out of the top 10, to 12th spot.

Dale Steyn has managed to cling on to number-one spot although he is now under significant pressure from Johnson, who is in top form in his side’s current series against Pakistan.

In batting, England captain Andrew Strauss is the main mover in the top 20, gaining four places to joint-13th position.

The batting rankings are still headed by Gautam Gambhir of India followed by the Sri Lanka pair of Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara.

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