Dubai: Riding on his stupendous performance in the ongoing home series against South Africa, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Monday rose to a career-high second in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers even as AB de Villiers lost his top spot in the batsmen standings.
Ashwin claimed 12 for 98 in the third Test in Nagpur to spin his side to a 124-run victory and India could move as high as second place in the ICC Test Championship if they win the fourth Test which starts on Friday.
Ashwin's ascent from the fifth position means that James Anderson and Yasir Shah drop to joint third on 846 points, while Stuart Broad fell to fifth, the ICC said in a statement. Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood, who produced man of the match figures of nine for 136 during the inaugural day/night Test, soared 10 places to 10th.
Other bowlers to head in the right direction during the Nagpur and Adelaide Tests include Amit Mishra (up two to 31st) who joins Imran Tahir (up by 14 places to 35th) in making career-high gains, while Black Caps bowler Doug Bracewell is one place and a single point further back in 36th after gaining four places.
Australia captain Steven Smith and England's Joe Root have regained joint pole position in the rankings for Test batsmen after de Villiers has dropped two places to third. The South Africa middle-order batsman now trails the duo by nine points, but a strong showing in New Delhi could see him regain top billing.
Murali Vijay is the top ranked India batsman in 12th position, while his captain Virat Kohli has moved up one place to 16th and there were also gains for Shikhar Dhawan (up one to 32nd) and wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha (up 10 to a career-high 92nd). JP Duminy also moved up three places to 40th after scores of 35 and 19 in a low scoring match.
There is one change in the top five all-rounders as Mitchell Starc has moved up to a career-high fifth position. Meanwhile, in the ICC Test Championship Australia have moved into second position on 109 points following their 2-0 series win.
(Photos: Screengrabs taken from the official website of International Cricket Council)
An India victory in the fourth and final Test in New Delhi, meanwhile, would see Kohli's men move into second place on 110 points. In that scenario, the Proteas' advantage at the top would be cut to just four points, with Australia dropping to third and Pakistan to fourth place.
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