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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Taylor becomes highest-ranked West Indies Test bowler

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DUBAI: Jerome Taylor has become the highest-ranked West Indies Test bowler since the retirement of Courtney Walsh in 2001 following his impressive performance against England in the first Test of a four-match series. In a statement issued here Sunday, it was said that playing in front of a home crowd at Sabina Park, the 24-year-old Jamaican had man of the match-winning figures of 29-8-85-8, including 5-11 in the second innings as England was dismissed for 51 in 33.2 overs.

This most recent effort has catapulted him up 11 places to sixth spot in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers, giving him a personal-best rating and putting him in a good position to launch an assault on the top five during the remainder of the series.

With 717 ratings points, he still has a way to go to achieve the heights of some of the legendary West Indies bowlers of the past, however. Curtley Ambrose, Wes Hall, Lance Gibbs, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Colin Croft, Michael Holding, Walsh and other great players all achieved higher ratings during their careers but Taylor’s effort is the best from a West Indies bowler since Walsh retired in 2001 while ranked at number three in the world.

The other bowler to excel during the match was 6ft 7in left-arm slow bowler Sulieman Benn, who bowled beautifully on a turning track, taking 8-108 in the match from 58.4 overs. As a result, Benn has gained 20 places and now stands in 52nd position, just one place behind England’s Stuart Broad, who gains five places following the match.

The news is not so good for the other slow left-armer in the match, Monty Panesar of England, who slips four places to 19th in the latest rankings after registering figures of 1-122.

The bowling list is still led by Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralidaran, who has been playing ODIs, followed by Dale Steyn of South Africa and Australia’s Stuart Clark.

West Indies captain Chris Gayle goes up four places to 15th position in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen after scoring what was his ninth century at that level and his first on the home turf of Sabina Park. Gayle’s overall batting average in Tests is a respectable 40.10 but his average in the eight matches since taking over as captain of the team is 56.46, indicating that the weight of leading the team has so far sat comfortably on his broad shoulders.

His opposite number for England Andrew Strauss loses three places to 18th in the rankings after what was a forgettable first game in charge for the 31-year-old left-hander. The other main mover in the batting list is Ramnaresh Sarwan, whose century has earned him four places and puts him in 22nd position with plenty of opportunities coming up to break back into the top 20.

The rankings are still headed by Sarwan’s team-mate Shivnarine Chanderpaul while England’s Kevin Pietersen hangs on to his number-four position thanks to his innings of 97 in the first innings. In more good news for Gayle, he has moved back into the top five in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test all-rounders, jumping above fellow West Indian Dwayne Bravo, who is injured. That list remains headed by Jacques Kallis of South Africa followed by Daniel Vettori of New Zealand and England’s Andrew Flintoff.-SANA

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