Dubai: Newly-appointed India Test skipper Virat Kohli has jumped four places to 15th spot in the latest ICC Player Rankings after his good performance in the drawn third cricket Test at Melbourne. Kohli, who scored 169 and 54 in the first and second innings of the just-concluded third Test, is the best-placed Indian batsman in the list with 737 ranking points.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay are the next best Indian batsmen in the list at 19th and 20th spot after losing two and one place respectively. Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 147 and 48 in the third Test, also made a jump of 15 places to reach 26th spot.
Australia captain Steven Smith, who scored a Test best 192 in the first innings, has gained two places to claim fifth spot for the first time in his career. He now trails number-one ranked AB de Villiers, who has regained the top spot from Kumar Sangakkara.
Also moving in the right direction are Chris Rogers of Australia (24th, up by four places), Kraigg Brathwaite (37th, up by 11 places), Marlon Samuels (37th, up by seven places) and Dean Elgar (50th, up by 13 places).
In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami improved eight places each to be placed at the 36th and 38th spot in the list which is still headed by South Africa’s Dale Steyn.
Australia’s Ryan Harris has moved up two places to second following his six wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), while Trent Boult has achieved a best-ever ranking of seventh after rising two places. Boult had figures of three for 25 and four for 100.
Bowler outside the top 20 and moving in the right direction include Neil Wagner (22nd, up by two places), Josh Hazlewood (53rd, up by 16 places) and Imran Tahir (58th, up by six places).
There is no change to the top five in the ICC Player Rankings for Test All-Rounders. Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh leads the field, followed by Vernon Philander of South Africa and India’s Ravichandran Ashwin.
Meanwhile, South Africa is just a draw away from retaining the Reliance ICC Test Championship mace and with it winning a cash award of USD 500,000.
If South Africa draws the Cape Town Test and Australia wins in Sydney, then South Africa will finish on 122 ratings points, compared to Australia’s 119 ratings points.
However, if the West Indies wins in Cape Town Test and Australia wins in Sydney, then Australia will finish ahead of South Africa by a fraction of a point (0.2).
The side that will finishes second will pocket USD 390,000, while England and Pakistan have been guaranteed USD 280,000 and USD 170,000 after sealing third and fourth positions, respectively, following the Christchurch Test result.
The annual cut-off for the Reliance ICC Test Championship is 1 April 2015. But with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to be played from 14 February to 29 March 2015, the current Test series are the last for the season.