Young Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant made giant strides on the ICC Test cricket ranking for batsmen, climbing 21 places to 17th spot after scoring his second Test ton — 159* against Australia in Sydney. Pant’s 17th place is the joint-highest ranking achieved by an Indian stumper along with Farokh Engineer, who did so in January 1973.
The 21-year-old’s aggregate of 673 rating points are also the highest by an India wicketkeeper, with Mahendra Singh Dhoni having the next highest aggregate of 662 points and Engineer 619 points. Dhoni’s highest Test ranking was 19th.
Pant, who scored his maiden Test century against England at the Oval last year and followed it up with two scores of 92 against West Indies, has moved into the top-20 after only his ninth Test match. The Delhi wicketkeeper 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 set up India’s 2-1 series win over Australia and claimed 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 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.
Young left-arm wrist 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 West Indies captain Jason Holder into second place among all-rounders.
For Australia, opener Marcus Harris climbed up 21 places to take a career-best 69th position after a fine 79 in the first innings while off-spinner Nathan Lyon has inched up from 14th to 13th position.
South African opener Aiden Markram has moved back into the top 10 after his knock of 78 at Cape Town, gaining seven places to reach 10th position. Middle-order batsman 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 103 lifted him six places to 16th position.
Among SA 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.
For Pakistan, Asad Shafiq has benefitted by five places to reach 24th position after scores of 20 and 88 while Babar Azam is only one slot behind after gaining two places. Shan Masood has moved up 22 places to a career-best 65th while captain Sarfraz Ahmed has moved up from 42nd to 37th place.
Shaheen Afridi has gained 13 places among the Pakistan bowlers to reach 60th place after taking four wickets in the match, which Pakistan lost by nine wickets to concede a decisive 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
There has been no change in position or points for India in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings, while Australia have lost one point but remain in fifth position.