Sehwag to target number 1 rank in the series against Aussies

Dubai: Indian opener Virender Sehwag will aim to regain the top rank in Tests when the two-match series against Australia begins on Friday.

India are going into the series with 127 rating points and a 2-0 win will take them to 130 points while defeats in both the Tests will see it slip to 122.

Australia enters the series in fourth position on 113 points, just one ahead of England, but will move ahead of Sri Lanka if they win the series. A 1-0 win will put them on 117 ratings points while a 2-0 win will give it 118 ratings points.

On the other side of the coin, Australia will drop behind England if India wins the series.

There is a chance for Sehwag to regain the top spot which he had lost to Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara last month.

Sehwag trails Sangakkara by just 15 ratings points and a good first Test with the bat will potentially put him ahead of the left-handed middle-order batsman from Matale.

Besides Sehwag, third-ranked Michael Clarke of Australia and India`s Sachin Tendulkar also have good opportunities to move up the ladder. Clarke leads Tendulkar by just five ratings points but trails Sehwag by 45 ratings points.

Simon Katich is the only other batsman from either side inside the top 10 in ninth position while the other batsmen inside the top 20 include VVS Laxman (12th), Gautam Gambhir (13th) and Ricky Ponting (17th).

Batsmen sitting outside the top 20 and eyeing an upward movement include Michael Hussey (22nd), Rahul Dravid (23rd), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (32nd), Shane Watson (39th) and Marcus North (47th).

In bowlers rankings, India has Zaheer Khan (seventh) and Harbhajan Singh (10th) inside the top-10 while Australia boasts Mitchell Johnston and Doug Bollinger inside the top 20 in sixth and 14th positions, respectively.

Bowlers aiming to improve their rankings include Ishant Sharma (22nd), Ben Hilfenhaus (23rd), Nathan Hauritz (28th), S.Sreesanth (29th) and Shane Watson (34th).

The bowlers` list is headed by Dale Steyn of South Africa with England`s Graeme Swann in second place.

In rankings for Test all-rounders, the highest-ranked player from either side is Sehwag in sixth position while Watson is eighth.

South Africa`s Jacques Kallis leads the field with New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori in second spot.

PTI

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