Sports Desk

LAHORE - Crafty off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has risen one more place and his spin partner Abdur Rehman has broken into the top 10 for the first time in his career in the ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers which were released on Sunday.

Saeed followed up his 10-97 in the Dubai Test with seven for 130 in the Abu Dhabi Test which was enough to put him ahead of England's fast bowler James Anderson in second position.

Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman, who had figures of two for 67 and six for 25 to win the man of the match award, has jumped five places to ninth spot.

This is after 23 years year that two Pakistan spinners figure inside the top 10 of the Test player rankings. In September 1988, Abdul Qadir was ranked fifth and Iqbal Qasim 10th, along with Imran Khan (third), Wasim Akram (eighth) and Tauseef Ahmed (13th).

Mainstays of  sides' batting orders - Michael Clarke, Misbah-ul-Haq, Ricky Ponting and Ross Taylor - have made big strides in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen. Clarke has moved up seven places to third position while Ponting is on 14th. Misbah has broken into the top 10 for the first time in his career in eighth position.

England are to win the last Test to be guaranteed a number-one spot at the 1 April cut-off date and with it a US$175,000 prize. If England win the Test, it will finish on 120 ratings points and will top the table irrespective of how South Africa's three-Test series in New Zealand, to be played from 7-27 March, pans out. However, England's failure to win the Dubai Test will give South Africa a chance to  reclaim the number-one spot.

If England lose or draw the Dubai Test, they can be overtaken by South Africa by a ratings point, provided South Africa sweeps the series in New Zealand.

Top 10 Test Batsmen

Name    Country    Rating

K Sangakkara    SL    850

J Kallis    SA    846

M Clarke    AUS    821

AB de Villiers    SA    815

A Cook    ENG    795

J Trott    ENG    780

T Samaraweera    SL    775

Misbah-ul-Haq    PAK    771

S Chanderpaul    WI    766

Younus Khan    PAK    762

Top 10 Test Bowlers

Name    Country    Rating

D Steyn    SA    896

Saeed Ajmal    PAK    812

J Anderson    ENG    787

P Siddle    AUS    768

S Broad    ENG    760

G Swann    ENG    750

B Hilfenhaus    AUS    726

M Morkel    SA    715

Abdur Rehman    PAK    710

Zaheer Khan    IND    697