England now have three bowlers in the world's top five. For once, this reflects exactly why they have also become the world's No 1 Test side.
Stuart Broad broke into the upper order of the ICC rankings with his career-best performance in the first Test against West Indies at Lord's, in which he took 11 for 165. It puts him third equal in the list with his new-ball partner, Jimmy Anderson. Both are on 783 points behind South Africa's Dale Steyn and Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan. Graeme Swann is fifth. Ajmal, England's nemesis in Pakistan's 3-0 victory last winter, is the chief reason why so many batsmen have dropped down the rankings. Only Alastair Cook remains in the top 10, at No 6. Broad is third in the all-rounders' list.
England yesterday announced their itinerary for the Test and one-day tours of India later this year and early next. They will play four Tests and two Twenty20 matches before Christmas and five one-day internationals in January. It is sure to be the topic of some discussion among the squad when they gather in Nottingham for the s econd Test against West Indies.
England Test and T20 Squads: Tour to India 2012
3-5 November 3-day tour match Mumbai, BKC
8-11 November 4-day tour match Ahmedabad, SPS Navrangpura
15-19 November 1st Test Match Ahmedabad, Motera
23-27 November 2nd Test Match Mumbai, Wankhede Stadium
5-9 December 3rd Test Match Kolkata
13-17 December 4th Test Match Nagpur
20 December 1st T20 (F) Pune
22 December 2nd T20 (F) Mumbai, Wankhede Stadium
23 December Team departs India
England ODI Squad: Tour to India 2013
6 January 50-over tour match (D/N) Venue tbc
8 January 50 over tour match Venue tbc
11 January 1st ODI (D/N) Rajkot
15 January 2nd ODI (D/N) Kochi
19 January 3rd ODI (D/N) Ranchi
23 January 4th ODI (D/N) Dharamshala
27 January 5th ODI (D/N) Mohali