Indian opening duo KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan are the biggest beneficiary of the latest ICC Test Rankings.
Rahul, who missed the 1st Test at Galle against Sri Lanka due to illness, marked his comeback in the longest format with two half-centuries in the 2nd and the 3rd Test to extend his record of seven successive fifties in Tests. Rahul alongside Dhawan shared a 56-run partnership in Colombo Test followed by a 188-run opening stand at Pallekele and moved up by two places, to his career best ninth rank amongst Test batsmen.
Southpaw Shikhar Dahwan was initially not named in the 15-member squad for Sri Lanka Test series but was called in to replace Murali Vijay, who was ruled out due to wrist injury. Dhawan top scored with 358 runs in four innings including two centuries in the series and was named the Man of the Series, moved up 10 places to 28th position.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya’s whirlwind maiden century helped him leapfrog 45 positions to reach a career-best 68th rank among batsmen, while pace bowlers Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav gained one place each in the bowler’s rankings to move to 19th and 21st position respectively.
There was good news for Chinaman bowlers too as India's Kuldeep Yadav and Sri Lanka's Lakshan Sandakan made rapid strides.
Kuldeep, coming in for suspended Ravindra Jadeja in the third and final Test, moved up 29 slots to 58th place after returning with figures of four for 40 and one for 56, while Sandakan's haul of five for 132 has helped him gain 16 places to reach 57th position.
Other Sri Lanka players to move up in the rankings include batsmen Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella. Chandimal has gained two slots to reach 33rd position while Dickwella has gained seven slots to reach a career-best 61st position.
In the list for all-rounders, Jadeja has lost the top slot to Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hassan after missing the Pallekele Test owing to a one-match suspension after accumulating six demerit points inside a 24-month period. Jadeja has slipped one point behind Shakib's tally of 431 points but remains at the top of the bowling rankings.
Meanwhile, England’s Jonny Bairstow climbed up one spot to 6th in the rankings and Australia’s opener David Warner slipped out of the top 10 batsmen for the first time in the last two years.
Australian skipper Steve Smith retains a healthy 50-point lead on top of the batting rankings, with Joe Root, Kane Williamson, Cheteswar Pujara and Virat Kohli rounding out the top five
Top-ranked India and seventh-placed Sri Lanka have retained their positions in the team rankings with India gaining two points to reach 125 points, increasing its lead over South Africa to 15 points.
England will play hosts to the West Indies for a three-Test series starting on Thursday, which they may have to win in order to remain in third position in team’s rankings, depending on the results of a two–Test series between Bangladesh and Australia that starts later this month but ends earlier on 8 September. Australia will go up to 101 points if Smith and Co win the series 2-0.
With inputs for PTI
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