DUBAI: South Africa’s AB de Villiers has surged to the top of the batting chart in the latest ICC Test Player Rankings, which were released on Tuesday following the conclusion of the Brisbane and Mohali Tests.
De Villiers had achieved the number-one batting position for the first time in March 2012 and last was at the summit earlier this year in January, before he was overtaken by Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara following his 203 against New Zealand in Wellington.
De Villiers scored 63 and 16 against India in the Mohali Test and has leapfrogged Australiacaptain Steven Smith, who scored 48 and one against New Zealand in Brisbane.
De Villiers now leads Smith by just one point but the rise of New Zealand’s Kane Williamson and David Warner of Australia means the top seven batsmen are now separated by just 44 points. This means there will potentially be further reshuffle at the top of the order, depending on how the remaining five Tests pan out.
Williamson scored 140 and 59, and has been rewarded with a jump of two places, which has put him in fifth position for the first time in his career. Warner’s two centuries in the Brisbane Test have also lifted him two places to seventh spot.
India’s Murali Vijay and South Africa’s Dean Elgar are the other top-ranked batsmen to achieve-career high rankings.
Vijay’s 75 and 47 has vaulted him eight places to 11th position, meaning that he has now become India’s highest-ranked batsman. Cheteshwar Pujara has gained five places following his contribution of 31 and 77 but he is two places behind Vijay in 13th spot.
Elgar has moved up four places to 34th and is one of four batsmen outside the top 20 to achieve career-best rankings, with the others being Adam Voges at 44th (up by five places), Joe Burns at 47th (up by 56 places) and Mark Craig at 57th (up by eight places).
Batsmen sliding in the latest rankings following the Brisbane and Mohali Tests include Virat Kohli at 16th (down by five places), Ross Taylor at 17th (down by four places), Ajinkya Rahane at 24th (down by three places), BJ Watling at 25th (down by two places) and Shikhar Dhawan at 38th (down by eight places).
In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Dale Steyn remains the number-one ranked bowler but following Ravichandran Ashwin’s five for 51 and three for 39, the India off-spinner has returned to the top five after rising three places.
Mitchell Starc’s four for 57 and two for 69 has helped the left-arm fast bowler achieve a career-best ranking of 13th after moving up seven places, while India’s left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has rocketed 10 places to a career-high 21st position following match figures of eight for 76 that also earned him the player of the Mohali Test award.
Amit Mishra at 34th (up by three places), Imran Tahir at 51st (up by nine places) and Mitchell Marsh at 58th (up by 14 places) are the other bowlers to achieve career-best rankings.
There is no change in the list of top three all-rounders, which is still headed by Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh, though Starc has moved up two places to seventh and Jadeja has climbed10 places to 13th in what are career-high gains for both players. NNI