Kohli, Pujara slip in ICC Test rankings
Dubai, Jan 9 (IANS) The 72-run loss in the opening Test to South Africa has cost India skipper Virat Kohli a drop to the No.3 spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test batsmen rankings, which were released here on Tuesday.
Besides Kohli, India’s batting mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara also dropped a couple of places to No.5 in the list headed by Australia skipper Steve Smith and followed by his England counterpart Joe Root.
India’s Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have also lost ground. Vijay is now 30th after dropping five places, Dhawan has slipped three places to 33rd, while Sharma has ended up 44th after falling three places.
Among others, South Africa’s Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar have slipped three places apiece to finish in 10th and 16th positions, respectively, but former skipper AB de Villiers has risen five places to 13th with a slot in the top-10 firmly within his sights. De Villiers struck 65 and 35 to stabilise the Proteas after their batting line-up faltered in both the innings.
South Africa opener Aiden Markram, who was declared Player of the Tournament in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in 2014, and India all-rounder Hardik Pandya are the other big movers from the Newlands Test. Markram has moved up six places to 48th, while Pandya is now ranked 49th after rocketing 24 places.
Among the bowlers, South Africa paceman Kagiso Rabada has grabbed the numero uno spot in the ICC Test bowler’s rankings, displacing Englishman James Anderson.
Rabada starred with the red cherry, picking 3 for 34 and 2 for 41 in the opening Test at Newlands. Rabada, 22, earned five points for that performance, taking him past Anderson’s tally of 887 by one point.
Anderson’s tally reduced by five points after the final Ashes Test in Sydney, where he took 1 for 56 in Australia’s only innings.
Vernon Philander, who was Man of the Match for his nine wickets against India at Newlands, jumped from 12th place to sixth.
Philander now trails Australia’s sixth-ranked Josh Hazlewood by eight points and has an opportunity to break into the top-five following the Centurion Test, which begins on Saturday.
Outside the top-20, India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Pat Cummins of Australia have achieved career-high rankings.
Kumar has vaulted eight places to 22nd following figures of four for 87 and two for 33, while Cummins has leaped eight places and is now in 28th position after match figures of eight for 119, which also earned him the player of the match award.
There is no change in the top-five of the all-rounders’ list, which is still headed by Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, with Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in second and third place, respectively.