Bhuvneshwar achieves carer-best rank; Kohli, Pujara drop

Cape Town, Jan 9:

India’s swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar today jumped eight places to a career-best 22 following his impressive show in a lost cause in the first Test against South Africa but Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara slipped in the ICC ranking ladder.

Kumar had taken six wickets across two South African innings in the first Test, which India lost by 72 runs.

In the rankings for the Test batsmen, Australia’s Steve Smith remained on 947 points in first position, but there was some movement just behind him.

India skipper Kohli lost the second position to his England counterpart Joe Root and was placed third ahead of Kane Williamson, who was ranked third before.

Root earned 26 points from the Sydney Test, in which he was dismissed once while scoring 141 runs, but Kohli dropped 13 points after his contributions of five and 28 at Newlands.

Pujara’s scores of 26 and four resulted in his total falling by 25 points.

South Africa’s Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar slipped three places apiece to finish in 10th and 16th positions respectively, but AB de Villiers jumped five places to 13th with a slot in the top-10 firmly within his sights.

South Africa opener Aiden Markram, who was the player of the tournament in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in 2014, and India all-rounder Hardik Pandya were the other big movers from the Newlands Test. Markram moved up six places to 48th, while Pandya was ranked 49th after rocketing 24 places.

India’s Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have also lost ground. Vijay was 30th after dropping five places, Dhawan slipped three places to 33rd, while Sharma ended up 44th after falling three places.

India though, continued to be the top-ranked Test team with 124 points followed by Soutt Africa (111), Australia (104),  New Zealand (100) and England (99). PTI


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