Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin regains top spot in ICC Test bowler rankings


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India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has surged to the top of the MRF Tyres ICC player rankings for Test bowlers after a superb outing in the first Test against the West Indies in Antigua which the visiting side won by an innings and 92 runs.

Ashwin, who was top-ranked in the 2015 year-ending rankings, not only regained the top spot with his second-innings haul of seven for 83 but has also gained in the batsmen’s rankings with a knock of 113 and resultantly strengthened his grip on the top spot among all-rounders.

Ashwin has replaced Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who had grabbed the number-one ranking for bowlers only last week with a 10-wicket haul in the opening Test against England at Lord’s. Yasir, who could take only one wicket in the second Test at Old Trafford, has dropped to fifth place below James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Dale Steyn.

Ashwin has gained five points following his performance in the Antigua Test, while Anderson has earned seven points. This means the pre-Test gap between the two bowlers has been trimmed from three points to just one point only.

In contrast, Yasir has conceded 46 points and now trails number-one ranked Ashwin by 44 points.

Chris Woakes has jumped up 10 places to 23rd rank after his match-haul of seven for 108 at Old Trafford which contributed in England’s 330 runs victory that levelled the four-match series 1-1. India pace bowler Umesh Yadav has gained six places to reach 24th rank with five wickets in Antigua while his new-ball partner Mohammad Shami has returned to the rankings at 28th place.

In the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, England’s Joe Root and Alastair Cook have reaped the benefits of solid knocks to gain two and four places, respectively. Root’s 254 and 71 not out has taken him to second position while Cook’s 105 and 76 not out have helped him return to the top-10, in ninth position.

Captain Virat Kohli’s 200 at Antigua, which set the base for India’s biggest win outside Asia, has helped him move up two places to 12th place while opener Shikhar Dhawan has gained four places after a knock of 84.

Ashwin has moved up three places to 45th rank among batsmen after his third Test century (113) against the West Indies. Ashwin, only the third Indian to be top-ranked among all-rounders after Vinoo Mankad and Kapil Dev, has increased the gap with second-placed Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh.

Ashwin has moved up from 406 points to a career-best 427 points and created a 43-point gap with Shakib.

Online Source

The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

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