Pujara,Prior enter Reliance ICC Test batting top 10 for the first time

Dubai, Mar.27 (ANI): Contrasting performances with the bat have helped India's Cheteshwar Pujara and England's wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior to move into the top 10 of latest Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings for batsmen, for the first-time in their careers.

The latest rankings were released on Wednesday, a day after England's magnificent fight back in the Auckland Test denied New Zealand a series win. The result left the series deadlocked at 0-0.

The hero of England's great escape was Prior, who hit an unbeaten 110, his seventh in Tests to help save the day for his team. Prior's effort has helped him jump four places to a career-best 10th position with best-ever 745 ratings points.

On the other hand, Pujara's unbeaten 82 helped India script a six-wicket win in the fourth Test against Australia in Delhi, thereby registering a historic 4-0 series sweep. As a result, Pujara has jumped five places to a best-ever seventh position with 777 ratings points.

Inside the top 10, two senior batsmen, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Kumar Sangakkara, have also made upward movements. While Chanderpaul has moved up a place to second, Sri Lanka's former captain Sangakkara is now ranked fourth (up by one).

South Africa's Hashim Amla continues to lead the batting table.

Inside the top 20, there have been two more positive movements with England's Ian Bell being now ranked 17th (up by one), while New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has moved up six places to 19th.

Meanwhile, the bowlers' table provides a lot of cheers for spinners who starred in their sides' performances in the Colombo, Roseau and Delhi Tests.

While Rangana Herath has moved up a place to third behind number-one ranked Dale Steyn and second-placed Vernon Philander, India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is now at a best-ever sixth after jumping two places.

The other spinners to make upward movements are Nathan Lyon in 21st (up by eight), Shane Shillingford in 23rd (up by 18) and Ravindra Jadeja in 27th (up by eight).

Among the pace bowlers, the major gainers are Steven Finn in 17th (up by two), Tim Southee in 24th (up by two), Ishant Sharma in 31st (up by three), Trent Boult in 37th (up by five) and Shannon Gabriel in 47th (up by 18). (ANI)

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