Veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Wednesday jumped to the top of the latest ICC Men’s Test Bowling Rankings, replacing England pacer James Anderson. Ashwin claimed the top spot after taking six wickets in India’s emphatic victory over Australia in the second Test in New Delhi. Anderson dropped to second place after England’s stunning loss to New Zealand in the Wellington Test.
The 36-year-old Ashwin first claimed the top honour among Test bowlers in 2015, and has returned to the top spot on several occasions since then.
Ashwin bagged big wickets in India’s win in Dehli, removing Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith in the same over of the first innings before returning to pick up Alex Carey for a duck.
The off-spinner was at it again in the second innings, picking up three of the top five while his spin-bowling accomplice Ravindra Jadeja rattled through the rest of the Australia batters from the other end.
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Ashwin has an opportunity to extend his latest stay in the No.1 spot in India’s remaining two Tests on home soil in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy Ashwin is the third No.1 Test bowler in as many weeks, after Anderson replaced Australia captain Pat Cummins at the summit last time around. The trio continue to make up the top three bowlers in the latest rankings.
Anderson is now five rating points behind Ashwin, who remains on 864 points.
Jadeja’s 10 wickets in the second Test against Australia also sees him move up the bowling rankings into eighth spot, Jadeja and Ashwin occupy the top two positions in Test All-Rounder Rankings. England’s Joe Root is the other big mover in the all-rounder rankings, up two spots to eighth.
Root’s return to top form in Wellington also sees him leapfrog Travis Head and Babar Azam into third position in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Batting Rankings.
Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith remain first and second respectively among Test batters.
New Zealander Tom Blundell is a new arrival in the top 10, rising four places to seventh after he helped the Black Caps to their famous follow-on victory by one run in the second Test against England.
England young gun Harry Brook continues his meteoric rise up the batting rankings after another superb century, climbing 15 places to draw level with Virat Kohli in 16th.