It took months for another bowler to push down Ravichandran Ashwin to number two position in the Test rankings for bowlers. On the other hand, five days is all it took for the star Indian off-spinner to climb back up and reclaim the top spot.
Putting up a sensational show with both the bat and ball, Ashwin regained his No. 1 spot among bowlers in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings released today.
Not only this, the Chennai-born tweaker also consolidated his position as the best all-rounder with a knock of 113 in the first innings and a seven-wicket haul in the second innings of the Antigua Test against West Indies, which India won by an innings and 92 runs at the Sir Viv Richards stadium on Monday.
Ashwin has replaced Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who had grabbed the number one ranking for bowlers only last week with a 10-wicket haul in the opening Test against England at Lord’s.
Yasir, who could take only one wicket in the second Test at Old Trafford, has dropped to fifth place below James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Dale Steyn.
The 29-year-old Ashwin has gained five points following his performance in the first Test, while Anderson has earned seven points. This means the pre-Test gap between the two bowlers has been trimmed from three points to just one point only.
In contrast, Yasir has conceded 46 points and now trails number one ranked Ashwin by 44 points.
In the batting chart, India captain Virat Kohli’s maiden double hundred at Antigua, which set the base for his country’s biggest win outside Asia, has helped him move up two places to No.12 while opener Shikhar Dhawan has gained four places after a knock of 84.
England’s Joe Root and Alastair Cook have reaped the benefits of solid knocks to gain two and four places, respectively. Root’s 254 and 71 not out has taken him to second position while Cook’s 105 and 76 not out have helped him return to the top-10, in ninth position.
England seamer Chris Woakes has jumped up 10 places to 23rd rank after his match-haul of seven for 108 at Old Trafford, which contributed to England’s 330-run victory that levelled the four-match series against Pakistan at 1-1.
Indian pacer Umesh Yadav has gained six places to be positioned 24th with five wickets in Antigua while his new-ball partner Mohammed Shami has returned to the rankings at 28th place.
Ashwin, only the third Indian to be top-ranked among all-rounders after Vinoo Mankad and Kapil Dev, has increased the gap with second-placed Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh.
Ashwin has moved up from 406 points to a career-best 427 points and created a 43-point gap with Shakib.
(With IANS inputs)