Pujara rises to 2nd, Kohli stays 5th in latest ICC rankings

Pujara has been rewarded with 22 points, lifting him to a career-high 888 points. The 29-year-old now leads his fifth-ranked captain Kohli by 11 points.

Pujara has been rewarded with 22 points, lifting him to a career-high 888 points.   -  AFP

A stodgy 143 in India's convincing innings victory against Sri Lanka in Nagpur saw batsman Cheteshwar Pujara jump a couple of places to No. 2, while skipper Virat Kohli held on to the fifth spot in the latest ICC rankings for Test batsmen, announced here today.

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Pujara has been rewarded with 22 points, lifting him to a career-high 888 points. The 29-year-old now leads his fifth-ranked captain Kohli by 11 points. Kohli has vaulted from 817 points to 877 points after scoring his fifth career double-century in 62 Tests.

The Saurashtra batsman trails Australian captain Steve Smith, who has extended his lead at the top. However, the next four batsmen are separated by just 11 points.

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Smith, on the other hand, stroked an unbeaten 141, his 21st hundred in his 57th Test, which eventually proved to be the cornerstone of Australia’s 10-wicket victory over England in the first Ashes Test.

For his performance, Smith has gained five points to rise to 941 points, making him joint-fifth in terms of the highest points tally in batting history in Tests behind Sir Don Bradman (961), Len Hutton (945), Jack Hobbs (942) and Ricky Ponting (942), and at par with Peter May (941).

England captain Joe Root is sitting third and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is occupying the fourth spot, while sixth-ranked David Warner of Australia is another 51 points behind Kohli.

India opener Murali Vijay and middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma, who were the other centurions in the just-concluded Test against Sri Lanka, have also made impressive gains. Vijay has risen eight places to No. 28, while Rohit has shot up seven places to No. 46.

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Some of the leading batsmen who've lost ground in the rankings include K.L. Rahul (ninth, down by one), Ajinkya Rahane (15th, down by two), Dimuth Karunaratne (18th, down by one), and Shikhar Dhawan (29th, down by one).

In the bowlers’ rankings, Ravindra Jadeja has reclaimed the second position following his match figures of five for 84, while Mitchell Starc has returned to the top 10 in 10th position after his match figures of six for 128 helped him gain three places.

Ravichandran Ashwin, who became the fastest bowler to 300 Test wickets, has consolidated his fourth position by gaining nine points.

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The Indian off-spinner is now 42 points behind number-one ranked James Anderson, who has dropped five points after claiming only two wickets in the opening Ashes Test at Brisbane.

Other bowlers to improve their rankings include Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma, who have moved up one place each to 28th and 30th respectively.

In the all-rounders’ rankings, Ashwin has returned to No. 3 in the list which is headed by Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh.