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No.1 rankings firmly within Ashwin and Williamson’s sights

India just a victory away from reclaiming the ICC Test Championship mace.

Ashwin could go to the top of the bowler’s rankings

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson have climbed up one place each to reach second position among bowlers and batsmen, respectively, in the latest MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings, which were released on Tuesday morning.

Ashwin’s match haul of 10-225, that helped notch a 197-run victory in the first Test in Kanpur on Monday, has seen him overtake England’s James Anderson by one point. He is now within seven points of number-one ranked Dale Steyn of South Africa, who leads the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers with 878 points.

Another strong performance in the Kolkata Test, which starts on Friday, will potentially see Ashwin top the bowling charts for the second time in 2016 after first claiming the number-one position last year following the Boxing Day Tests.

Williamson has similarly edged England’s Joe Root by one point with innings of 75 and 25 to reach 879 points in the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, which is led by Australia captain Steve Smith with 906 points.

However, to move ahead or edge even closer to Smith, Williamson will have to produce strong performances in the remaining two Tests.

Ashwin also contributed with a useful innings of 40 to consolidate his position at the top of the list of all-rounders. Ashwin has reached a career-best rating of 450, opening up a 66-point gap with second-placed Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh.

There was not much to cheer for other New Zealand batsmen apart from Williamson, but for India, opener Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara made significant gains.

Vijay and Pujara, who became the first Indian pair in 10 years to notch century partnerships in both innings of a Test match, moved up from joint-20th position to joint-16th position.

Other Indian batsmen to move up were Lokesh Rahul, who gained five ranks to reach 57th position, and Rohit Sharma, who gained two slots to reach 52nd rank.

Victory in its 500th Test means India is now one victory away from reclaiming the ICC Test Championship mace from Pakistan. India had entered the series trailing Pakistan by one point and needed to win the series to move ahead of its traditional rival.

Unlike the ODI and T20I team rankings, the Test rankings are only updated at the end of a series.

Top 10 Batsmen

1Steve SmithAustralia906
2Kane WilliamsonNew Zealand879
3Joe RootEngland878
4Hashim AmlaSouth Africa847
5Younus KhanPakistan845
6Adam VogesAustralia802
7AB de VilliersSouth Africa802
8David WarnerAustralia772
9Alastair CookEngland770

Top 10 Bowlers

1Dale SteynSouth Africa878
2R AshwinIndia871
3James AndersonEngland870
4Stuard BroadEngland836
5Rangana HerathSri Lanka831
6Yasir ShahPakistan806
7Ravindra JadejaIndia798
8Mitchell StarcAustralia792
9Neil WagnerNew Zealand746
10Vernon PhilanderSouth Africa723
10Trent BoultNew Zealand723

Top 5 All-rounders

1R AshwinIndia450
2Shakib Al HasanBangladesh384
3Ravindra JadejaIndia292
3Moeen AliEngland292
5Mitchell StarcAustralia279
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