Kumble breaks into top 3 among Test bowlers | india | Hindustan Times
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Kumble breaks into top 3 among Test bowlers

india Updated: Jan 29, 2007 20:57 IST

India's veteran leg-spinner Anil Kumble has climbed up one place to be among the top three bowlers in the ICC Test rankings released after South Africa's win over Pakistan.

The Indian swapped place with South African Shaun Pollock, who is now fourth on the bowlers' list, led by Mutthiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka and Makhaya Ntini of South Africa.

Mohammed Asif, back into action after being cleared of doping charges, has equalled the record for the fewest matches taken by a Pakistani player to break into the top ten.

The 24-year-old seam and swing bowler captured five wickets in a losing cause in the decisive match of his side's series in South Africa and that was enough to lift him three places in the rankings to eighth position.

Asif has taken just nine Tests to reach the position and only two other Pakistan bowlers have broken into that elite group so quickly - fast bowling legend Waqar Younis and Pervez Sajjad, the left-arm spinner who played 19 Tests in the 1960s and 1970s.

The achievement of Asif, who took 19 wickets at 18.47 in the three-Test series against the Proteas, leaves him as Pakistan's top-ranked bowler as he has now moved past Shoaib Akhtar in the list.

The Proteas have gained four points to draw level with fifth-placed Sri Lanka, although they still trail Mahela Jayawardene's line-up when the ratings are recalculated to three decimal points.

Pakistan has lost four points and is now just one rating point ahead of fourth-placed India.

Australia still heads the table, 21 points ahead of England, in second spot, which is six points clear of Inzamam's side.