Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has risen to the top of the latest ICC Men’s Test bowling rankings as James Anderson’s stay at the summit comes to an end. Ashwin claimed the top spot among bowlers after taking six wickets in his most recent performance, in India’s emphatic victory over Australia in the second Test, with Anderson dropping to second place after England’s stunning loss to New Zealand in the Wellington Test. The 36-year-old Ashwin first claimed the honour of being the No 1-ranked Test bowler in 2015 and returned to the top spot on several occasions since then. Ashwin bagged big wickets in India’s win in Dehli, removing Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith in the same over of the first innings before returning to pick up Alex Carey for a duck.
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The evergreen off-spinner was at it again in the second innings, picking up three of the top five while his spin-bowling accomplice Ravindra Jadeja rattled through the rest of the Australia XI from the other end. Ashwin has an opportunity to extend his latest stay in the No 1 spot in India’s remaining two Tests on home soil in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series against Australia. Ashwin is the third No 1 Test bowler in as many weeks after Anderson replaced Australia captain Pat Cummins at the summit last time around. The trio continue to make up the top three bowlers in the latest rankings.
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 19, 2023
England’s 40-year-old pacer Anderson had moved to the top of the bowling rankings after his brilliant performance in the first Test against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui but has since dropped seven rating points to 859 and into second place. Although the veteran made an impact again in the remarkable second Test, taking three top-order wickets in the first innings, he is now five rating points behind Ashwin who remains on 864 points. Jadeja’s 10 wickets in the second Test against Australia also sees him move up the bowling rankings into eighth and strengthens his grip on the top spot in the ICC Test All-Rounder Rankings – with Ashwin behind him in the second spot.
England’s Joe Root is the other big mover in the all-rounder rankings, up two spots to eighth. Root`s return to top form in Wellington also sees him leapfrog Travis Head and Babar Azam into third in the ICC Test Batting Rankings. Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith remain first and second respectively among Test batters. New Zealander Tom Blundell is a new arrival in the top 10, rising four places to seventh after he helped the Black Caps to their famous follow-on victory by one run in the second Test against England.