Jadeja replaces Ashwin as No.1 Test bowler

Dubai [UAE], Mar.21 (ANI): Indian left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has whizzed ahead of spin-twin Ravichandran Ashwin to take the top spot in the latest ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers after grabbing nine wickets in the drawn third Test against Australia which puts 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 India player after Ashwin and Bishan Bedi to top the bowling charts on his own.
Jadeja has also closed in on a major landmark as his tally of 899 rating points puts him on the brink of becoming only the second India 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 two wickets in Ranchi.
The latest rankings, which also take into account the Colombo Test which Bangladesh won by four wickets against Sri Lanka to draw the series 1-1 and the second Test in Wellington which South Africa won by eight wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series against New Zealand, also sees quite a few other significant changes.
South Africa spinner Keshav Maharaj has risen 15 places to reach a career-best 37th spot after taking eight wickets in Wellington while pace bowlers Umesh Yadav of India (26th) and Mustafizur Rahman of Bangladesh (47th) have also achieved personal best rankings.
In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, top-ranked Steve Smith has reached a career-high rating of 941 points after scores of 178 not out and 21. The Australia captain's tally is the joint-fifth highest ever along with Peter May. Only Don Bradman (961), Len Hutton (945), Jack Hobbs and Ricky Ponting (942) have achieved higher rating points.
India's Cheteshwar Pujara too has reason to celebrate as his knock of 202 has helped him gain four slots to reach a career-best second ranking. He has replaced New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who is now in fifth place, also slipping behind Joe Root and Virat Kohli.
The Bangladesh pair of Shakib Al Hasan (21st) and Mushfiqur Rahim (28th), Australia's Peter Handscomb (35th) and New Zealand batsmen Jeet Raval (43rd) and Henry Nicholls (45th) have also achieved career-best rankings.
Shakib, who took six wickets in Colombo, has displaced Ashwin from the top rank in the list of all-rounders after the two players inter-changed positions two times last week.
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 a cash award of 1 million dollars.
Australia will finish second and get a cash award of five lakh dollars with at least a draw in the last Test in Dharamsala while South Africa can finish second if Australia loses and South Africa either wins or draws the last match against New Zealand in Hamilton.
The third-placed team as on April 1 will receive two lakh dollars while the fourth-placed team, which will be England, will get one lakh dollars.(ANI)

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