KP back in top 10 after ton against SA
ENGLAND batsman Kevin Pietersen has returned to the top 10 of the ICC player rankings for test batsmen after smashing a century against South Africa in the second test of the series, which ended in a draw at Headingley in Leeds on Monday.
The latest rankings were released after the conclusion of the Leeds test.
Pietersen's knock of 149 in England's first-innings score of 425 not only earned him the man-of-the-match award but also saw him leap seven places in the rankings, which has put him in 10th position.
Alastair Cook retained his eighth position after scores of 24 and 46 while Jonathan Trott gained two places and is now just outside the top 10 in 14th position in the list, which is headed by Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara.
South Africa opener Alviro Petersen, the other centurion of the Leeds test, was rewarded with a jump of 17 places, placing him in 31st spot. Proteas batsman Jacques Rudolph also moved up into 55th spot.
The news is not so good for captains Ross Taylor of New Zealand and Andrew Strauss of England, as well as Chris Gayle, who have dropped in the latest rankings.
Meanwhile, South Africa's fast bowler Vernon Philander achieved a career-best ranking as well as a career-best rating after match figures of three for 98. He leapfrogged Sri Lanka's left-arm spinner Rangana Herath into third position, while his current rating of 797 means he trails his teammate and number one-ranked Dale Steyn by 91 ratings points and Pakistan's second-ranked off-spinner Saeed Ajmal by 35 ratings points.
England's Stuart Broad is the other mover in the top 20. The fast bowler, who recorded match figures of eight for 165, climbed two places to seventh.
In the ICC Test Championship, England need to win the Lords test, starting from August 16, to retain their number one position, while South Africa require a draw to move to the top of the tree.
If England win the test, they will finish on 121 ratings points, pushing South Africa behind Australia into third position on 114 ratings points. However, if England lose the test, they will then slip to second position on 117 ratings points while South Africa will move to the numberone spot on 120 ratings points.
If England salvage a draw, then both the sides will be tied on 118 ratings points with South Africa taking the top spot by a fraction (0.1634) of a point.