Dubail: Pakistan captain Younis Khan’s triple hundred in the drawn Karachi Test against Sri Lanka catapulted him to the top of the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen which has only one Indian, Gautam Gambhir, in the top 10.
Younis batted for nearly 13 hours in Karachi to become just the third Pakistan player in history to get past the 300-run mark in a single Test innings after Hanif Mohammad (337 v West Indies at Bridgetown in 1958) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (329 v New Zealand at Lahore in 2002).
Younis was the only real mover in the top 20 of the rankings although Mahela Jayawardena’s double hundred in the same match means he stays in fourth position as Australia’s Michael Clarke drops two places to fifth position.
Having been knocked off his number-one perch, West Indies’ Shivnarine Chanderpaul is now in second spot with Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka in third.
Younis will have to continue to score heavily to maintain his stay at the top because he has a very slender one-point lead at the top with almost every player in the top 10.
Gambhir’s opportunity to improve his position will come when the Test series against New Zealand gets underway in March.
Delhi teammate Virender Sehwag is placed 11th, while Sachin Tendulkar share the 17th spot with compatriot VVS Laxman.
In the Test bowlers’ chart, Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan is still top of the heap but the gap between him and South Africa’s Dale Steyn has now been cut from 43 ratings points to just 17.
With Steyn just starting a Test series against Australia, there is every chance the Protea could nudge in front of Murali before too long.
Sri Lanka’s other big-name spinner Ajantha Mendis also fared badly in the match as he finished with the figures of 59-14-157-1. As a result, he has slipped five places, out of the top 20 to joint-23rd position, and is now level with South Africa’s left-arm slow bowler Paul Harris.
Harbhajan Singh remained India’s top Test bowler at the eighth place, while Zaheer Khan is ranked 12th.