Broad topples Ashwin to take bowling top spot in Tests

Dubai, Jan 17 (IANS) England fast bowler Stuart Broad replaced India’s Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday as the top ranked bowler in Tests following his superb performance against South Africa.

Broad produced a Man of the Match performance against South Africa in the third Test at Johannesburg on Saturday, taking 6-17 to skittle the hosts out for just 83 runs in the second innings for England to win by seven wickets.

England took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series that also confirmed that India will replace South Africa as the top-ranked Test side, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said in a statement.

Broad entered the Johannesburg Test in the third position on 853 points but, after figures of two for 82 and six for 17, the 29-year-old earned 27 points to leapfrog Ashwin and South Africa’s Dale Steyn into the top position.

Broad now sits on 880 points and leads the India spinner by nine points. Steyn is third with 850 points.

Broad is the first England bowler since Steve Harmison to top the Test bowlers rankings. Harmison had reached the top in 2004 and stayed there for 120 days. Before Harmison, Ian Botham had achieved the number-one ranking in 1980.

Broad has gained four places after earning 40 points since arriving in South Africa as he has picked up 15 wickets in three Tests to date.

Ravindra Jadeja is the other Indian in the top 10, retaining his sixth spot with 789 points.

In the Test batting rankings, Ajinkya Rahane retained his joint 10th spot he shares with Australia’s Adam Voges, with 753 points. The list continues to be topped by Australia’s Steve Smith with 899.

Ashwin continues to lead the all-rounders rankings with 406 points while Jadeja remains at fifth with 259.

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