Dubai: Struggling with his form, a downcast Australian skipper Ricky Ponting today crashed out of top 20 Test batsmen list for the first in nearly a decade in the latest ICC ranking.
The Tasmanian, who turns 36 on December 19, dropped 12 places to occupy 25th, his lowest ranking since 2001 and has been replaced by England’s Kevin Pietersen who scored a mammoth 227 to help his team win the Adelaide Test.
Pietersen made a huge leap of 12 places to return to the top 20 at the 16th position.
Compatriot Jonathan Trott also continued his rise up the batting rankings and is now occupying sixth place after scoring 78 in Adelaide during the second Ashes Test.
The 29-year-old is the highest-ranked England batsman with the next closest being England vice-captain Alastair Cook who has climbed nine places to sit in 13th place.
Australia’s Mike Hussey rose to 14th while West Indies’ opening batsman Chris Gayle has dropped five places to 19th after his team’s drawn series in Sri Lanka.
However, Gayle’s team-mates Brendan Nash (43) and Darren Bravo (69) have both made in-roads on the Test batsmen’s rankings but Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara still heads the numero uno status with India’s Sachin Tendulkar in second place.
In the bowling ranking, England’s James Anderson has displaced Indian pace spearhead Zaheer Khan to claim third place in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers.
The 28-year-old claimed six wickets in Adelaide and sits behind fellow England bowler Graeme Swann (second) while the table is headed by South Africa’s Dale Steyn. It is Anderson’s highest ranking to date.
Swann’s five-wicket haul in the second innings of the Adelaide Test has moved him to within 14 ratings points of Steyn, edging him closer to the top spot. A good performance in the Perth and Melbourne Tests could see Swann end the year in the number one position.
Australia’s Peter Siddle, meanwhile, has slipped three places to 17th position.
There is no change at the top of the ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders with South Africa’s Jacques Kallis still leading the field.
However, Australia’s Shane Watson has displaced England’s Stuart Broad for fourth place in the all-rounder’s rankings after the 29-year-old Queenslander scored 108 runs and claimed 1-44 during the second Ashes Test.