Ravichandran Ashwin moves to number one spot in the ICC Men's Test bowling rankings

by IANS |

Dubai, March 1 (IANS) India's ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has moved to the top spot in the latest ICC Men's Test Bowling Rankings, ending veteran England pacer James Anderson's stay at the number one spot.

Ashwin claimed the top spot after taking six wickets in his most recent performance, in India's emphatic victory over Australia in the second Test at New Delhi. Anderson, on the other hand, drops to second place after England's stunning one-run loss to New Zealand in the Wellington Test.

Ashwin, 36, first became the No.1-ranked Test bowler in 2015, and has returned to the top spot on several occasions since then. He bagged big wickets in India's win in New Delhi, removing Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith in the same over of the first innings before returning to pick up Alex Carey for a duck in the first innings.

He was at it again in the second innings, picking up three of the top five while his spin-bowling accomplice, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja rattled through the rest of the Australian batting order from the other end by picking seven wickets.

Ashwin has an opportunity to extend his latest stay in the No.1 spot through India's remaining two Tests on home soil in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series against Australia in Indore and Ahmedabad.

Ashwin, with 864 points, is now the third No.1 Test bowler in as many weeks, after Anderson, now having 859 rating points, 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.

Jadeja's 10 wickets in the second Test against Australia at New Delhi also sees him move up the bowling rankings to eighth position, and strengthen his grip on top spot in the ICC Test All-Rounder Rankings - with Ashwin behind him on the second spot.

England's premier batter Joe Root is the other big mover in the all-rounder rankings, up two spots to eighth. His return to top form in Wellington also sees him leapfrog Australia's Travis Head and Pakistan captain Babar Azam into third in the ICC Test Batting Rankings.

Australia duo of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith remain first and second respectively among Test batters. England's young batter 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 position.

New Zealand's wicketkeeper-batter Tom Blundell is a new arrival in the top 10 rankings for batters, 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.

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