International Cricket

Rabada reclaims top spot in ICC Test bowlers rankings, India’s Ashwin rises to fourth

The South African pacer took a match haul of 11/150, helping his side defeat Australia by six wickets in Port Elizabeth.

Kagiso Rabada regained his top spot among bowlers crossing the coveted 900-point mark in ratings even as Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin climbed up a couple of notches to be placed fourth in the ICC Test Player Rankings, released on Tuesday.

Rabada was back as no 1 after his effort of 11/150 helped South Africa defeat Australia by six wickets in Port Elizabeth to level their four-match series at 1-1. Rabada is the 23rd bowler to cross 900 points and only the fourth South Africa player to do so after Vernon Philander (highest of 912 points in 2013), Shaun Pollock (909 in 1999) and Dale Steyn (909 in 2014).

Despite India not playing a Test match currently, Ashwin gained two places as Josh Hazlewood (from 4th to 5th) and Mitchell Starc (5th to 9th) slipped in the rankings following Australia’s defeat. The other Indian, Ravindra Jadeja, remained static at third place.

In the batsmen’s list, there has been no change with Steve Smith perched at the top while Indian captain Virat Kohli in second position. Cheteshwar Pujara maintained his sixth place in the rankings. South Africa batsman AB de Villiers is another major gainer in the latest rankings update. His scores of 126 not out and 28 helped him move up five slots to reach seventh position in the batsmen’s list led by Australia captain Smith.

Hashim Amla has moved up one place to ninth position while Lungi Ngidi has gained 12 slots in the list of bowlers to reach 37th position after grabbing five wickets in the match. For Australia, Usman Khawaja’s second innings knock of 75 has helped him gain five places to reach 16th position. Wicketkeeper Tim Paine (up 16 places to 66th), opener Cameron Bancroft (up 15 places to a career-best 78th) and fast bowler Pat Cummins (up four places to a career-best 23rd) have all moved up.

Meanwhile, New Zealand and England play a two-Test series that overlaps with the final two Tests of the South Africa-Australia Test series. A series win for England could see them overtake New Zealand to take fourth position in the Test Team Rankings as the latter are just one point ahead at 100 points.

New Zealand could also overtake Australia to third position if they win their series and Australia go on to lose 3-1 to South Africa.

India have already been presented with the ICC Test Championship Mace and $1 million as the prize money after being assured of the top place at the April 3 cut-off date. South Africa are assured of the second prize of with $500,000 while the third and fourth sides get $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.

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