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R Ashwin gains career-best second spot in ICC Test rankings

Dubai: India's off-spinner Ashwin moved three places to his career-best second spot among the Test bowlers after collected 2 wickets in India's 124-run win over South Africa in Nagpur, while the other players Amit Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja also moved places in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings released on Monday (November 30).

Ashwin's lead states that England pacer James Anderson and Pakistan leggie Yasir Shah slip to joint third on 846 points, while England's Stuart Broad slips to fifth. Indian leg-spinner Amit Misra jumped two spots to be 31st and left-handed player Jadeja moved up a place to be 11th, according to an ICC release.

Among other bowlers who created big impact last week, Josh Hazlewood produced man-of-the-match figures of nine wickets for 136 runs as Australia clinched the three-Test series 2-0 inside three days in the inaugural day/night Test. In doing so, the 24-year-old soared 10 places to 10th.

Despite moving down three places to 18th, there was a better announcement for Peter Siddle who reached the 200 Test wicket milestone in Adelaide.

Various other bowlers to move in the right direction during the Nagpur and Adelaide Tests were South African Imran Tahir (up by 14 places to 35th) in making career-high gains, while New Zealander Doug Bracewell is one place and a single point further back in 36th after moving four places.

The announcement also saw career-high records for Australian Mitchell Marsh (leading five to 55th) and Proteas' Dean Elgar (up five to 68th) in a list which is led by South Africa’s Dale Steyn.

Meanwhile, Murali Vijay is the top ranked India batsman in 12th position, while his captain Virat Kohli has moved up one place to 16th. There were also gains for Shikhar Dhawan (up one to 32nd) and wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha (up 10 to a career-high 92nd).

South African Jean-Paul Duminy also stepped up three places to 40th after scores of 35 and 19 in a low scoring match.

Australia captain Steven Smith and England’s Joe Root have regained joint pole position for Test batsmen, as AB de Villiers has moved two spaces to the third. The South Africa middle-order batsman now trails the duo by nine points, but a strong showing in the fourth Test in New Delhi could see him regain the top billing.

New Zealand opener Tom Latham has come up four places to the 35th after scores of 50 and 10, and Mitchell Santner shot to 66th position after a performance on his debut where he recorded 31 and 45.

For hosts Australia, Shaun Marsh has now stepped up eight places to 56th, while there were career-high rankings for Mitchell Starc (up five to 73rd) and Peter Nevill, moved up 22 places to 79th.

There is one change in the top five all-rounders as Starc has stepped up to a career-high fifth position.

Meanwhile, in the Test championship, Australia have moved into second position on team table on 109 points following their 2-0 series win.

An India win in the fourth and final Test in New Delhi would see them gain a 3-0 series win and see Virat Kohli’s men in blue step into second place on 110 points.

In that present situation, the Proteas’ advantage at the top would be to just four points, with Australia moved to the third and Pakistan to fourth place.

Photo courtesy: www.mid-day.com

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