Ryder and Taylor are on a charge with Laxman back in the top 20

VVS Laxman has returned to the top 20 of the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen after his fighting unconquered century helped India salvage a draw in the second Test against New Zealand in Napier yesterday.

Laxman followed up his 76 in India’s 305 all out in the first innings with an unbeaten 124 as the tourists finished 476-4 after being forced to follow on. Earlier, the Black Caps had declared their first innings at 619-9.

Laxman jumps to 15th

For his excellent performances with the bat, Laxman has been rewarded with a jump of six places and puts him in 15th position, just behind master batsman Sachin Tendulkar who contributed 49 and 64 with the bat.

Opener Gautam Gambhir is the highest-ranked India batsman in fifth place and his knock of 137 in the second innings has not only strengthened his current position but has put him within striking distance of fourth-placed Mahela Jayawardena of Sri Lanka.

While Laxman is the only player in the top 20 to make an upward movement, India’s stand-in captain Virender Sehwag is the only batsman in the top 20 who has slipped down the ladder. The opener has dropped two places to 17th position after scores of 34 and 22.

BLACKCAPS centurions make a move

There is good news for New Zealand as all its three centurions have made movements in the right direction.

Man of the match Jesse Ryder, who scored a career-best 201, has vaulted 12 places to 30th position to become his country’s highest-ranked batsman, Ross Taylor has climbed eight places to 32nd spot after a fine 151 while Brendon McCullum has jumped three places to 34th position after his third Test century.

The table is still headed by Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies who leads Pakistan captain Younus Khan by a very small margin while Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara is in third position.

Sharma ranked a career high 17th

In the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers, India fast bowler Ishant Sharma’s 3-95 has helped him leapfrog Jacques Kallis of South Africa, Pakistan’s Danish Kaneria and England’s Monty Panesar to a career-best 17th spot.

BLACKCAPS can notch up four ranking points with a win

In the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table, India will retain its third position behind Australia and South Africa irrespective of how the Wellington Test pans out. If India wins the match and the series 2-0, it will stay on 118 Ratings Points while New Zealand will also stay on 81 Ratings Points. However, if New Zealand turns the tables on India and wins the Test to square the series, India will slip to 115 Ratings Points while New Zealand will rise to 85 Ratings Poin

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