Michael Clarke takes over as No 1 Test batsman

Michael Clarke

Australian cricketer and captain Michael Clarke has regained the number-one ranking 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 on Monday.

Clarke, 31, scored a masterly 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 Africa duo of 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, then he has a good chance to reclaim the coveted spot which had 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.

But Clarke is not the only player who has vaulted up the rankings. All the players who produced good performances in the just-concluded three Tests in Adelaide, Mumbai and Khulna, have been rewarded with rises in the latest rankings, which were released on Monday afternoon.

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