Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane move up in ICC Test Rankings
Indian batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have surged in the latest ICC Test Rankings for Batsmen. Both Pujara and Rahane moved up a place each to number six and eight respectively. Meanwhile, English legend James Anderson has climbed to number six in the ICC Test Rankings for Bowlers. He displaced South Africa's Kagiso Rabada, who recently completed 200 Test scalps. Here is more.
The likes of Pujara and Rahane got rewarded for their series-winning display Down Under. Despite sustaining multiple blows, Pujara managed to score a 211-ball 56, an innings that set the tone of India's historic win in Brisbane. Meanwhile, Rahane played a captain's knock in the Boxing Day Test, an astonishing 112, that helped India stage a comeback in the series.
Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali broke into the top 15 with his knocks of 51 and 31* in the first Test against South Africa. The top five batsmen, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Virat Kohli and Joe Root (respectively) have retained their spots. Meanwhile, star all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was rested for the Sri Lanka series, has moved down two places to number 10.
In the Bowling Rankings, pace spearhead James Anderson has jumped one place to sixth spot. He took his 30th five-wicket haul in the second Test against Sri Lanka. He became only the second fast bowler after Sir Richard Hadlee to do so in Test cricket. Meanwhile, Indian bowlers Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah have retained their eighth and ninth spot in the Rankings respectively.
Anderson finished with 6/40 in the first innings, the best figures by a pacer aged 38 or more in 107 years (Tests). Anderson, who claimed his 30th five-wicket haul, eclipsed Glenn McGrath's tally of 29 five-fors. He is now the only Englishman with 30 five-fors.
Hosts Pakistan defeated South Africa in the first Test (Karachi), chasing a nominal target of 88 runs. As a result, Pakistan swapped places with the tourists, and moved to fifth position in the ICC World Test Championship standings. Meanwhile, India continue to lead the points table following a historic series win Down Under. They are followed by New Zealand, Australia and England.