Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has become world’s highest-ranked spinner after bowling Pakistan to a 10-wicket win over number-one ranked England in the first Test which ended in three days in Dubai on Thursday.
Ajmal not only won the man of the match award for his figures of seven for 55 and three for 42, but has also achieved a number-three ranking in the latest Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers which were released on Friday morning.
Saeed, who ended with his second 10-wicket haul in his 18th Test for Pakistan, has jumped nine places and while doing so, also leapfrogged England’s off-spinner Graeme Swann who has slipped one position to fourth.
Saeed, who earned 117 ratings points for his magnificent bowling performance, now has England’s second-ranked James Anderson firmly within his sights as he trails the Lancastrian by 37 ratings points.
Saeed’s spin partner Abdur Rehman has also achieved a career-best ranking. Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman was awarded for his match figures of four for 89 with a leap of five places which has put him in 14th position.
South Africa’s pace ace Dale Steyn continues to lead the bowling pack by a distance.
In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen, the news is not very good for England batsmen.
Alastair Cook and Ian Bell, who entered in third and fourth positions respectively, have slipped two and three positions respectively. Kevin Pietersen has fallen out of the top 10. Pietersen, who scored two and zero in the Dubai Test, has lost six places and is now in 16th position while England captain Andrew Strauss has also dropped six places to 34th spot.
The only England batsmen to make any upward movements are wicketkeeper Matt Prior in 18th (up by one) and Swann in 64th (up by 11).
In contrast, the Pakistan batsmen have made positive gains with Younus Khan in fourth (up by two), captain Misbah-ul-Haq in 14th (up by three), Mohammad Hafeez in 30th (up by 15), Taufeeq Umar in 32nd (up by six) and wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal in 70th (up by 23).
Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara leads the field while South Africa’s Jacques Kallis is just four ratings points behind in second position. AB de Villiers is third, 24 ratings points ahead of Younus.
In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders, Mohammd Hafeez, who has achieved a career-best batting ranking and has also moved up six places in the bowling chart, has gained five places and now sits in 13th position while Swann is just outside the top five in sixth spot, trailing Australia’s Shane Watson by 71 points.
The list is headed by Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan with Kallis in second spot.