Ashwin returns to rankings summit

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has surged to the top of the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers with a career-best haul of 13 for 140 in the final Test that helped defeat New Zealand by a massive 321 runs, India’s second biggest victory in terms of runs.

Ashwin, who was named man of the series after he finished with 27 wickets in a 3-0 sweep by India, now has 220 wickets, the most by any bowler after 39 Tests.

Ranked third before the final Test in Indore, Ashwin has leapfrogged pace bowlers James Anderson and Dale Steyn to attain a career-best rating of 900 points.

The India tweaker, who finished the 2015 year-end rankings as the number-one bowler and was also at the top briefly in July this year, has joined a select band to have touched a rating of 900 points since 2000, the others being Muttiah Muralidaran, Glenn McGrath, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn and Shaun Pollock.

In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen led by Australia captain Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane has attained a career-best sixth-rank with scores of 188 and 23 not out. Rahane, whose previous best was eighth rank in August this year, has gained five slots after starting the match at 11th position.

The Indore Test also saw Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Virat Kohli move up the rankings. Pujara’s knocks of 41 and 101 not out have helped him move up one place to 14th rank while Kohli’s scores of 211 and 17 at Indore have helped him move up four places to 16th position.

For New Zealand, opener Martin Guptill has moved up 10 places to 58th rank with knocks of 72 and 29 while Jimmy Neesham has moved up 12 slots to 70th position.
 
In the all-rounders’ list, India’s Ravindra Jadeja has reached a career-best joint-third rank.

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