Asif among four Pakistan bowlers in top twenty rankings

The major positive in the first cricket Test at Centurion for Pakistan was surely the form of fast bowler Mohammed Asif, who was back in the side after suspension.

With match figures of 7-145 against South Africa, it was enough to propel him in top 20 places in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) Player Rankings for Test bowlers for the first time.

Asif now sits in 19th spot after a rise of nine places.

Pakistan now have four bowlers in that top 20 with leg-spinner Danish Kaneria and seamer Umar Gul (who missed first Test through injury) in joint 15th position while fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, also available again after suspension, lies in ninth position.

Another absentee from Pakistan’s line-up at Centurion who is now available is Mohammad Yousuf. If he can start this year in the same way he ended the last one, then he could soon occupy the top spot in ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen.

The stylish right-hander broke Vivian Richards’ 30-year old record for most Test runs in a calendar year as he collected 1788 runs in 2006. He also claimed the record for most hundreds in this form of game in the same timeframe by posting nine, in only 19 innings.

Yousuf lies in second place in the batting list behind Australia captain Ricky Ponting.

Yousuf’s teammate Younis Khan is Pakistan’s other player in the top ten (he lies ninth), while captain Inzamam has slipped one place to 12th position. His opposite number, Graeme Smith, has dropped three places after a quiet opening to the series (0 & 32) and is now in 21st spot.

Pakistan’s defeat, by seven wickets in the first Test, means it cannot now leapfrog England into second place in the ICC Test Championship table, even if it fights back to win the series.
Source:The News

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Written by Team CricketViewer on January 18th, 2007 with 101 Views

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