Aiden Markram’s brilliant 78 against Pakistan at Newlands has pushed the Proteas opener back into the ICC’s top 10 batters list.
The Proteas opener regained his position in the top 10 when his first-innings knock pushed him up seven slots after a string of low scores in Sri Lanka and the first Test against Pakistan at Centurion.
Temba Bavuma’s good form has earned him a place in the top 30 for the first time, as he shifts up five places from 31st spot to 26th by virtue of his scores of 53, 13 not out and 75 in the first two Tests against Pakistan.
Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis’ magnificent maiden Test century at Newlands moves him up six places into the top 20 (16th spot).
Vernon Philander moves up one spot to level peg with Australia’s Pat Cummins in joint third spot on 804 points, although the gap between them and second-placed Jimmy Anderson is considerable. If Philander can stay fit, there’s every chance he could move up to second spot with some devastating spells against Pakistan at the Wanderers, and in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka in February.
Duanne Olivier was a ‘surprise’ inclusion in the side because of the injuries to Lungi Ngidi and Philander ahead of the first Test in Centurion, but his devastating form and pace off the wicket has seen him race ahead to be the leading wicket-taker in the current Test series against Pakistan with 16 wickets. His performance has seen him rise from 36th spot to 32nd in the rankings.
The 21-year-old left-hander has gained 21 slots and reached 17th place, the joint-highest by a specialist India wicketkeeper along with Farokh Engineer, who did so in January 1973. Further, Pant’s aggregate of 673 rating points is the highest by an India wicketkeeper, with Dhoni having the next highest aggregate of 662 points and Engineer 619 points. Dhoni’s highest Test ranking was 19th.
Pant, a star at the U19 World Cup in 2016 when he scored an 18-ball half-century against Nepal, has moved into the top 20 with an unbeaten 159 after only his ninth Test match. Pant 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 help beat Australia 2-1 and claim 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 has 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.
Spinner Kuldeep Yadav has gained seven slots to reach a career-best 45th position after his figures of 5-99 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 Windies captain Jason Holder into second place among all-rounders.
There has been no change in position or points for India in the ICC Test Team Rankings, while Australia have lost one point, but remain in fifth position.
ICC Test Team Rankings (as at 8 January)
ICC Test Player Rankings (as at 8 January)
Batsmen (top 10)
|1||( – )||Virat Kohli||Ind||922||53.76||937|
|2||( – )||K. Williamson||NZ||897||51.44||915|
|5||( – )||Joe Root||Eng||807||50.44||917|
|6||( – )||David Warner||Aus||772||48.20||880|
|7||( – )||Henry Nicholls||NZ||763*!||43.54||763|
|8||( – )||Dean Elgar||SA||727||40.96||784|
|9||( – )||D. Karunaratne||SL||715||37.08||754|
Other selected rankings
|16||(+6)||Faf du Plessis||SA||674||42.07||734|
|26=||(-2)||Q. de Kock||SA||627||36.89||802|
Bowlers (top 10)
|1||( – )||K. Rabada||SA||893||21.35||902|
|2||( – )||J. Anderson||Eng||874||26.98||903|
|( – )||Pat Cummins||Aus||804*||24.51||836|
|7||( – )||Trent Boult||NZ||771||27.90||825|
|10||( – )||Jason Holder||Win||751*||28.50||766|
Other selected rankings
All-rounders (top five)
|1||( – )||S. Al Hasan||Ban||415||489|
|4||( – )||V. Philander||SA||353||378|
|5||( – )||Ben Stokes||Eng||342||396|
*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.
!indicates career-highest rating
For more information on player rankings, please click here.
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images