26 July, New Delhi
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has surged to the top of the ICC player rankings for Test bowlers after a superb outing in the first Test against the West Indies in Antigua.
Ashwin, who was top-ranked in the 2015 year-ending rankings, regained the top spot with his second-innings haul of seven for 83. He also gained in the batsmen’s rankings with a knock of 113 and resultantly strengthened his grip on the top spot among all-rounders.
Ashwin has replaced Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who had grabbed the number-one ranking for bowlers only last week with a 10-wicket haul in the opening Test against England at Lord’s.
India pace bowler Umesh Yadav has gained six places to reach 24th rank with five wickets in Antigua while his new-ball partner Mohammad Shami has returned to the rankings at 28th place. In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, England’s Joe Root and Alastair Cook have reaped the benefits of solid knocks to gain two and four places, respectively.
Captain Virat Kohli’s 200 at Antigua has helped him move up two places to 12th place while opener Shikhar Dhawan has gained four places after a knock of 84. Ashwin is only the third Indian to be top-ranked among all-rounders after Vinoo Mankad and Kapil Dev.