Ashwin maintains top spot in bowlers rankings

Dubai: Premier India offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin has maintained the top spot among bowlers, while England’s Joe Root toppled Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne to become the world’s top-ranked batter in the ICC Test rankings released on Wednesday.

Ashwin, who was ignored for the World Test Championship final against Australia earlier this month in London, remained the world No 1 bowler with 860 points, followed by England’s James Anderson at second with 829 points.

Among Indian bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah (772) and Ravindra Jadeja (765) occupied the eighth and the ninth spot respectively with no change in their rankings.

Virat Kohli, India’s batting stalwart, slipped down to 14th spot, while Rohit Sharma, the team captain, moved up to 12th.

Cheteshwar Pujara remained at number 25, while Shreyas Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane, both of whom have been out of action for some time, moved up one spot to number 36 and number 37, respectively.

Wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant is the only Indian to feature in the top 10, taking the last spot. The big shake-up came at the top of batters’ rankings, as Root jumped moved five places to dethrone Labuschagne.

A day after Australia beat England by two wickets to win the Edgbaston Test and take a 1-0 lead in the ongoing Ashes, the rankings changed.

Despite Root’s unbeaten 118 in England’s declared first innings of 393 for 8 (a decision that was heavily debated following their loss in the first Ashes Test), Labuschagne failed to impress with the bat in either innings.

During the first Ashes Test in Birmingham, Root scored 118 not out and 46 runs in a losing effort. The 32-year-old batsman climbed a significant five places and regained his position as the world’s No. 1 Test batter as a result of his exceptional individual efforts.

With scores of 0 and 13, Labuschagne fell to third against England, but Kiwi veteran Kane Williamson rose two spots to overall second.

Fellow Australians Travis Head (down one place to fourth) and Steve Smith (drops four spots to sixth) also lose ground in the race to become the No.1 Test batter, with just 26 rating points now separating the top six players in what is one of the closest battles seen in recent times.

Kagiso Rabada of South Africa surpassed Australia captain Pat Cummins (824 points) to take third place among bowlers with 825 points.