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Australia and Pakistan will go head to head for number 1 position

Lahore : India’s star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has consolidated his position at the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers after his match haul of 12-167 in the fourth Test against England in Mumbai helped the home side score an innings and 36 runs victory for a winning 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

Ashwin, who had touched the coveted 900-point mark for the first time in October when he had reclaimed the top-ranking, has reached 904 points to run up a 37-point lead over second-placed Rangana Herath of Sri Lanka.

Ashwin’s rating is the second best-ever by an off-spinner after Muttiah Muralidaran (920), fifth best among spinners after Tony Lock (912), Derek Underwood (907) and Shane Warne (905), and the 18th in the overall list.

Ashwin, who grabbed six wickets each in the two innings in Mumbai, had finished the 2015 year-end rankings as the number-one bowler and was also at the top briefly in July this year. He is also the top-ranked all-rounder at 483 points and enjoys a healthy lead over Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, who is on 405 points with England’s Ben Stokes third with 341 points.

Ashwin’s spin partner Ravindra Jadeja has bridged the gap with Stokes to just one point in the all-rounders’ list after taking six wickets in Mumbai. Jadeja’s continued success has also helped him reach a career-best ranking of sixth among bowlers.

In the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, India captain Virat Kohli has continued his surge towards the top after his player of the match performance of 235 in India’s only innings in Mumbai. The 28-year-old’s highest Test score has earned him 53 points, which has lifted him by one position to a career-best second rank. He is now is in line to top the rankings in all three forms of the game at some point in time.

Kohli, who is currently ranked second in One-Day Internationals and first in Twenty20 Internationals, is just 11 points behind Australia captain Steve Smith, who will get a chance to maintain his top ranking in an upcoming three-Test series against Pakistan.

Other India players to make upward movements among batsmen are opener Murali Vijay and all-rounder Jayant Yadav. Vijay has moved up five places to 24th position after his knock of 136 while Yadav’s 104 runs at number nine position, has pushed him up 31 slots to 56th rank.

For England, debutant opener Keaton Jennings has entered the batsmen’s rankings at an impressive 64th position after innings of 112 and zero.

Australia v Pakistan ; Australia and Pakistan will go head to head in a three-Test series starting in Brisbane on Thursday, with both the sides aiming for an upward movement. Australia is currently ranked third on 105 points, while Pakistan is fourth on 102 points.

However, this position will potentially change when the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings are updated following the Chennai Test. If second-ranked England wins the Test, then it will finish on 103 points, but it will end on 101 points if India wins the series 4-0.

The following are Australia v Pakistan series permutations:

· Australia wins 3-0: Australia 109 points; Pakistan 97 points
· Australia wins 2-0: Australia 108 points; Pakistan 98 points
· Australia wins 1-0: Australia 107 points; Pakistan 100 points
· Series draw: Australia 104 points; Pakistan 103 points
· Pakistan wins 3-0: Pakistan 108 points; Australia 100 points
· Pakistan wins 2-0: Pakistan 107 points; Australia 101 points
· Pakistan wins 1-0: Pakistan 105 points; Australia 102 points

Series schedule:

15-19 December – 1st Test (day/night), Brisbane

26-30 December – 2nd Test, Melbourne

3-7 January – 3rd Test, Sydney

 

MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings (as of 13 December 2016, before the start of the Australia-Pakistan series)

 

Rank   Team               Points

  1. India                  115
  2. England             105
  3. Australia            105
  4. Pakistan             102
  5. South Africa      102
  6. New Zealand       96
  7. Sri Lanka             96
  8. West Indies          69
  9. Bangladesh          65
  10. Zimbabwe             5

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