Young Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant made giant strides on the ICC Test cricket ranking for batsmen, climbing 21 places to 17th spot after scoring his second Test ton — 159* against Australia in Sydney. Pant’s 17th place is the joint-highest ranking achieved by an Indian stumper along with Farokh Engineer, who did so in January 1973.The 21-year-old’s aggregate of 673 rating points are also the highest by an India wicketkeeper, with Mahendra Singh Dhoni having the next highest aggregate of 662 points and Engineer 619 points. Dhoni’s highest Test ranking was 19th.
Pant, who scored his maiden Test century against England at the Oval last year and followed it up with two scores of 92 against West Indies, has moved into the top-20 after only his ninth Test match. The Delhi wicketkeeper had started the Australia tour in 59th place and made rapid progress, scoring 350 runs in a series that also saw him take 20 catches.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 521 runs to set up India’s 2-1 series win over Australia and claimed the player of the series award, is another batsman to gain in the latest rankings update, which also takes into account performances in the second Test between South Africa and Pakistan in Cape Town.

Pujara gained one slot to reach third position while all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (up six places to 57th) and rookie opener Mayank Agarwal (up five places to 62nd) are the others from his team to advance at the end of a historic series win.

Young left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav has gained seven slots to reach a career-best 45th position after his figures of five for 99 in Australia’s first innings even as Jasprit Bumrah has held on to 16th position and Mohammed Shami has gained one place to take the 22nd slot. Jadeja has gained one place to reach fifth among bowlers and has also leapfrogged West Indies captain Jason Holder into second place among all-rounders.

For Australia, opener Marcus Harris climbed up 21 places to take a career-best 69th position after a fine 79 in the first innings while off-spinner Nathan Lyon has inched up from 14th to 13th position.

South African opener Aiden Markram has moved back into the top 10 after his knock of 78 at Cape Town, gaining seven places to reach 10th position. Middle-order batsman Temba Bavuma has moved into the top 30 for the first time (up five places to 26th) after his score of 75 while captain Faf du Plessis’s first-innings 103 lifted him six places to 16th position.

Among SA bowlers, Vernon Philander has gained one slot to reach third position while Duanne Olivier has continued his surge to move up to 32nd place from 36th.

For Pakistan, Asad Shafiq has benefitted by five places to reach 24th position after scores of 20 and 88 while Babar Azam is only one slot behind after gaining two places. Shan Masood has moved up 22 places to a career-best 65th while captain Sarfraz Ahmed has moved up from 42nd to 37th place.

Shaheen Afridi has gained 13 places among the Pakistan bowlers to reach 60th place after taking four wickets in the match, which Pakistan lost by nine wickets to concede a decisive 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

There has been no change in position or points for India in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings, while Australia have lost one point but remain in fifth position.

ICC Test Team Rankings (as on January 8, 2019):

1. India 116
2. England 108
3. New Zealand 107
4. South Africa 106
5. Australia 101
6. Pakistan 92
7. Sri Lanka 91
8. West Indies 70
9. Bangladesh 69
10. Zimbabwe 13
11. Afghanistan 00
12. Ireland 00

ICC Test Player Rankings (as on January 8):

Batsmen (top 10)

Rank (+/-) Player Team Pts Avg Highest Rating
1 ( – ) Virat Kohli Ind 922 53.76 937 v Eng at Southampton 2018
2 ( – ) K. Williamson NZ 897 51.44 915 v SL at Wellington 2018
3 (+1) C. Pujara Ind 881 51.18 888 v SL at Nagpur 2017
4 (-1) Steve Smith Aus 874 61.37 947 v SA at Durban 2018
5 ( – ) Joe Root Eng 807 50.44 917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015
6 ( – ) David Warner Aus 772 48.20 880 v NZ at Perth 2015
7 ( – ) Henry Nicholls NZ 763 43.54 763 v SL at Christchurch 2018
8 ( – ) Dean Elgar SA 727 40.96 784 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018
9 ( – ) D. Karunaratne SL 715 37.08 754 v SA at Colombo (SSC) 2018
10 (+7) Aiden Markram SA 698* 45.20 759 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

Other selected rankings

Rank (+/-) Player Team Pts Avg Highest Rating
11 (+2) A. Mathews SL 687 44.79 877 v NZ at Christchurch 2014
16 (+6) Faf du Plessis SA 674 42.07 734 v Ind at Centurion 2018
17 (+21) Rishabh Pant Ind 673 49.71 673 v Aus at Sydney 2019
24 (+5) Asad Shafiq Pak 634 39.06 758 v Eng at Lord’s 2016
25 (+2) Babar Azam Pak 629 35.30 629 v SA at Cape Town 2019
26 (-2) Q. de Kock SA 627 36.89 802 v NZ at Hamilton 2017
(+5) T. Bavuma SA 627 35.41 627 v Pak at Cape Town 2019
57 (+6) R. Jadeja Ind 488 32.28 511 v Win at Rajkot 2018
69 (+21) Marcus Harris Aus 446 36.85 446 v Ind at Sydney 2019

First Published: January 8, 2019, 1:04 PM IST