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Kumar Sangakkara has become the first Sri Lanka player to top the LG ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen following yet another stellar performance for his country.

The 30-year-old scored 92 and 152 in the first Test against England at Kandy this week to make sure Sri Lanka went ahead in the series and in the process he has displaced Australia’s Ricky Ponting at the top of the rankings.

It means that Sri Lanka now boasts a player at the top of both the batsman and bowler categories in the LG ICC Player Rankings as world record-breaking spinner Muttiah Muralidaran tops the bowling list.

But that’s not all. Sangakkara has now gone into joint-sixth position in the all-time rankings, indicating just what spectacular form he has been in of late. On Tuesday he became the first batsman in the history of the game to register scores of 150 or more in four successive Tests.

In the all-time list, Sangakkara has moved level with West Indies legends Clyde Walcott, Viv Richards and Garfield Sobers with just seven rating points separating him from Len Hutton in second place. He still has a way to go, however, to catch the man with the best all-time rating, Don Bradman.

Perhaps surprisingly, the man from Matale is the only batsman from the Asian sub-continent in the all-time top 10 although there are two – Mohammad Yousuf of Pakistan and India’s Sunil Gavaskar – in the top 20.

It is worth pointing out that the rankings do not necessarily indicate who are the greatest players in history but rather which have managed to go sustain a protracted period of dominance and form.

At the very top it is difficult to maintain such a high rating and Sangakkara will have to continue his prodigious run-plundering if he is to stick around. Mind you, the way he is playing these days, who would bet against him?
 
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