Rahane rises to career-best No.8 spot among ICC Test batsmen

Dubai, Aug 15 (IANS) An impressive performance in the third Test against the West Indies lifted Indian middle order mainstay Ajinkya Rahane to his career-best eighth spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings, released here on Monday.

Rahane, who went into the Test at joint 11th spot with Pakistani veteran Younus Khan, scored 35 and 78 not out to guide India to a 237-run win over the hosts at St. Lucia. With the win, India also took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

Meanwhile, Younus has returned to the top five of the rankings after belting his sixth career double-century which helped his side record an impressive 10-wicket victory over England in the fourth and final Test of the series at The Oval.

Younus slammed a fine 218 in the first innings to shoot up to fifth in the latest batting table, which is led by Australia captain Steve Smith. The veteran right-hander started the series in fifth position, dropped to ninth after the third Test at Edgbaston, and again to eleventh position.

Among other gainers, former New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor’s unbeaten knocks of 124 and 67 against Zimbabwe has seen him gain five places to reach ninth rank after his team won the second Test at Bulawayo by 254 runs to clinch the two-match series 2-0.

England’s Moeen Ali has also gained six places to move to 26th position, while his compatriot Jonny Bairstow (14th) and the Pakistan duo of Asad Shafiq (15th) and Azhar Ali (17th) have also gained one place each.

West Indian batsmen Darren Bravo (27th), Kraigg Braithwaite (33rd) and Marlon Samuels (40th) are other batsmen to move in the right direction.

The bowler’s list has remained largely unchanged but New Zealand’s Neil Wagner has gained one spot to reach 13th, while England pace bowler Chris Woakes has gained two spots to reach 18th in a list led by England paceman James Anderson.

Pakistan’s pace bowling pair of Wahab Riaz and Sohail Khan, and the West Indies’ Miguel Cummins also made noticeable gains.

Left-armer Wahab has gained six slots to reach 27th after grabbing a total of five wickets at The Oval, while Sohail’s six wickets during that Test has seen him jump 21 places to 41st rank. Cummins has rocketed 59 places to 55th after match figures of nine for 102.

The all-rounders’ rankings are led by India’s Ravichandran Ashwin, while Australia’s Mitchell Starc has broken into the top five for the first time in fifth position after rising two places.



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