Pujara moves up to third spot

India's Cheteshwar Pujara is third on the ICC Test Rankings for batsmen. AFP File Photo

Cheteshwar Pujara has gained a spot to be third in the latest ICC batsmen rankings, following his man-of-the series performance in India's maiden Test series win in Australia.

Wickeet-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has jumped as many as 21 places to be 17th, the joint-highest by a specialist India wicketkeeper along with Farokh Engineer, who did so in January 1973. M S Dhoni's highest Test ranking was 19th.

India captain Virat Kohli has maintained his number one position in the batsmen rankings.

Pant, a star at the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup in 2016 when he scored an 18-ball half-century against Nepal, has moved into the top-20 after only his ninth Test with an unbeaten 159. 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.

Pujara, who scored 521 runs to help India beat Australia 2-1, 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 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 Windies captain Jason Holder into second place among all-rounders.

South Africa’s Aiden Markram has moved back into the top 10 after his knock of 78 at Cape Town, gaining seven slots to reach 10th position. 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 century has lifted him six places to 16th position.

Among their 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.

There has been no change in position or points for leaders India in the team rankings, while Australia have lost one point but remain in fifth position. 

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Pujara moves up to third spot

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