Pujara moves to fourth, Bumrah achieves career-high ranking

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Dubai: Cheteshwar Pujara, whose knocks of 123 and 71 were the cornerstone of India’s victory against Australia in the first Test, moved ahead of Joe Root and David Warner to take the fourth position while pacer Jasprit Bumrah achieved a career-high ranking of 33rd, after his three for 47 and three for 68, in the latest ICC rankings.

Pujara helped India out of a hole in the first innings with a brilliantly crafted hundred and then in the second innings played a vital role in helping the tourists set the Aussies a target of 323.

Bumrah, meanwhile, restricted the hosts to 235 by taking the wickets of Peter Handscomb, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. In the second essay too, he accounted for the dangerous Shaun Marsh, skipper Tim Paine and Cummins.

Kane Williamson also became the first New Zealand batsman and 32nd overall to break the 900-point barrier in the ICC player rankings for Test batsmen following a stellar performance in the third Test against Pakistan, which helped his side win their first away series against the Asian side in 49 years.

Williamson scored 89 and 139 in Abu Dhabi last week, which set up New Zealand’s convincing 123-run victory over Pakistan.

This performance not only helped Williamson win the Player of the Match award, but also earn 37 points in the latest player rankings, which, in turn, has allowed him to leapfrog Australia’s Steve Smith into second position on a career-high 913 points.

Richard Hadlee, ICC’s Cricket Hall of Famer, is the only other New Zealand player – with bat or ball – to reach the 900-point mark in the ICC Test rankings.

While Williamson shone with the bat in Abu Dhabi and was richly rewarded, number-one ranked Virat Kohli managed only three and 34 in his side’s impressive 31-run victory over Australia at the picturesque Adelaide Oval.

As a result, Kohli has conceded 15 points to slip to 920 points, just seven points ahead of Williamson.

With Williamson breathing down Kohli’s neck, the India captain will be under pressure to perform strongly with the bat in the second Test starting in Perth on Friday otherwise he will potentially lose his number-one ranking he has been holding since the Edgbaston Test against England in August.

The other two notable movers from the Adelaide Test are Ajinkya Rahane in 17th (up by two places) and Mitchell Starc in 16th (up by two places).

Amongst the newcomers, Australia’s Marcus Harris has reached the 116th batting position, while amongst the bowlers, off-spinner William Somerville of New Zealand has emerged in 63rd spot and Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi has popped up in 111th place.

(Agencies)