India vs Australia: Cheteshwar Pujara pips Virat Kohli in Test rankings, Ravindra Jadeja is top-ranked bowler
Pujara replaced New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who is in fifth place, apart from also edging past Joe Root and Virat Kohli, who remained static at fourth position.
New Delhi: India's Ravindra Jadeja pipped spin twin Ravichandran Ashwin to grab the pole position in the latest rankings for ICC Test bowlers while Cheteshwar Pujara reached a career-high second rank among batsmen. Left-arm spinner Jadeja whizzed past Ashwin after snaring nine wickets in the drawn third Test against Australia, which put the four-match series interestingly poised at 1-1.
Jadeja, who grabbed five for 124 and four for 52 in Ranchi, has gained seven points after starting joint-first with Ashwin at 892 points. The left-arm spinner has become only the third Indian player after Ashwin and Bishan Singh Bedi to top the bowling charts on his own.
Pujara too has reason to celebrate as his knock of 202 has helped him gain four slots to reach a career-best second ranking with 861 points. The Saurashtra batsman has replaced New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who is now in fifth place, also slipping behind Joe Root and Virat Kohli, who remained static at fourth position.
Top-ranked Australian captain Steve Smith has reached a career-high rating of 941 points after scores of 178 not out and 21. While Jadeja has closed in on a major landmark as his tally of 899 rating points has put him on the brink of becoming only the second Indian bowler after Ashwin to touch the 900-point mark. Ashwin, who had a highest rating of 904 points, has slipped 37 points behind Jadeja to 862 points after finishing with just two wickets in Ranchi.
Meanwhile, the race for the second spot in the ICC Test team rankings has become interesting as Australia and South Africa compete ahead of the cut-off date of April 1, on which India is assured of finishing first and getting a cash award of $1 million.
Australia will finish second and get a cash award of $500,000 with at least a draw in the last Test in Dharamsala while South Africa can finish second if Australia loses with South Africa either winning or drawing the last match against New Zealand in Hamilton.
The third-placed team on April 1 will receive $200,000 while the fourth-placed team, which will be England, will get $100,000.
India vs England: Virat Kohli labels Indian bowling performance at Oval as one of the 'top three' in his captaincy
The Oval track did not offer much assistance to the fast bowlers but Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur shared seven wickets to bundle out England for 210, scripting India's comprehensive 157-run win.
With dressing room drifting away, Virat Kohli quits T20 captaincy but it might not safeguard 50-over leadership
While Kohli has maintained that he would remain captain in the other two formats, one can't say with absolute certainty that he will be India's 50-over skipper going into the 2023 World Cup at home.
This is a special team that Kohli has built. They have conquered MCG, Gabba, Lord's and Oval, all in a space of 10 months. They have the momentum on their side. And with the adrenaline running high, Manchester doesn't look too far away.