Clarke takes over as number−one ranked Test batsman

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 14:40 hrs

Adelaide, Nov 26 (IANS) Michael Clarke has regained the No.1 spot in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen after producing a spectacular performance in the second cricket Test between Australia and South Africa which ended in a thrilling draw in Adelaide Monday.

The 31−year−old Australian captain scored 230 in the first innings, his fourth double−century of the year, which has earned him 33 ratings points and has helped him leapfrog Kumar Sangkkara of Sri Lanka and South African duo Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis into the number−one position.

This is the third time Clarke has moved to the top of the table. He first achieved the number−one ranking in August 2009 and then again surged to the top earlier this year in March−April.

Unfortunately, both the times his stay at the top has been brief − a possibility which still exists as he leads Sangakkara by a slender 10 ratings points margin.

If Sangakkara manages to turn around the first innings failure into a strong performance in the second innings of the ongoing second Test against New Zealand in Colombo, he has a good chance to reclaim the coveted spot which he snatched from West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul in July.

Clarke had started the year in 20th position and has made his way to the top scoring 1,309 runs to date at an average of 119. Apart from Clarke, Ricky Ponting (24th, down by three) and Michael Hussey (12th, down by one) are the other two current Australia team players who have tasted number−one positions in the past.

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