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Bumrah becomes first India pacer to claim pole position in ICC Test Rankings

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New Delhi, Feb 7: Fast-bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah has become the first India pacer to top the ICC Men’s Test Bowling Rankings. In the latest update to the rankings on Wednesday, Bumrah was propelled to top of the Test bowlers’ ranking after an outstanding haul of nine wickets in the second Test against England in Visakhapatnam, which India won by 106 runs.

Bumrah’s nine-wicket match haul, which included a brilliant 6/45 in the first innings at Visakhapatnam, has helped him leapfrog Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada and compatriot Ravichandran Ashwin. Bumrah is now only the fourth bowler from his country to attain number one position in Test bowlers’ rankings after spinners Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Bishan Singh Bedi.

Bumrah, who was named Player of the Match after helping India level the five-match series with a 106-run victory in Visakhapatnam, ended Ashwin’s 11-month long reign at the top. Bumrah now has a tally of 881 rating points with Ashwin (904) and Jadeja (899) the only India bowlers to have aggregated more rating points.

Ashwin, who is now at second place in the bowlers rankings after picking just three wickets at Visakhapatnam, and Jadeja, currently nursing a hamstring injury, also have the unique distinction of being jointly top-ranked, in March 2017. Left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has moved up four places to 45th position after a strong return to the Test team in Visakhapatnam.

The batting rankings see left-handed opener Yashasvi Jaiswal progress 37 places to 29th after completing a fine career-best 209 in the first innings, while right-handed batter Shubman Gill go up 14 places to a career-best 38th after notching 104 in the second innings.

For England, opener Zak Crawley is another player to gain after the Visakhapatnam Test, moving up eight places to a career-best 22nd position after scores of 76 and 73. Rookie leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed has moved up 14 places to 70th position.

Left-arm spinner Tom Hartley, who became just the second England player with at least 50 runs and five wickets in each of his first two Tests, has advanced in both lists – up from 103rd to 95th in the batting rankings and from 63rd to 53rd in the bowling rankings.

Post the completion of the one-off Test between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in Colombo, left-arm spinner Prabhath Jayasuriya has moved up to three places to a career-best sixth position after his eight-wicket match haul helped the hosts’ win by 10 wickets.

Asitha Fernando (up seven places to 34th) and Vishwa Fernando (up nine places to 51st) are other Sri Lanka bowlers to move up while Angelo Mathews (up four places to 24th) has advanced in the batting rankings after top-scoring in the match with 141.

For Afghanistan, opener Ibrahim Zadran has moved up 17 places to 54th after a fighting 114 in the second innings while Rahmat Shah (up 16 places to 66th) and Noor Ali Zadran (entered the rankings in 92nd position) are some other notable movements.

In the Men’s ODI Rankings, Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa is up one place to third and fast bowler Sean Abbott’s six wickets in the three-match series against the West Indies this past week have lifted him 35 places to joint-33rd position. West Indies’ left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie has improved his ranking from 61st to 54th after finishing with four wickets in the series.

IANS

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