Rishabh Pant has attained new highs for an India wicketkeeper in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings after his superb century in the drawn final Test in Sydney.

The 21-year-old left-hander has gained 21 slots and reached 17th place, the joint-highest by a specialist India wicketkeeper along with Farokh Engineer, who did so in January 1973. Further, Pant’s aggregate of 673 rating points are the highest by an India wicketkeeper, with Dhoni having the next highest aggregate of 662 points and Engineer 619 points. Dhoni’s highest Test ranking was 19th.

Pant, a star at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in 2016 when he scored an 18-ball half-century against Nepal, has moved into the top-20 after only his ninth Test match with an unbeaten 159. Pant had started the Australia tour in 59th place and made rapid progress, scoring 350 runs in a series that also saw him take 20 catches.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 521 runs to help beat Australia 2-1 and claim the player of the series award, is another batsman to gain in the latest rankings update, which also takes into account performances in the second Test between South Africa and Pakistan in Cape Town.

Pujara has gained one slot to reach third position while all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (up six places to 57th) and rookie opener Mayank Agarwal (up five places to 62nd) are the others from his team to advance at the end of a historic series win.

Spinner Kuldeep Yadav has gained seven slots to reach a career-best 45th position after his figures of five for 99 in Australia’s first innings even as Jasprit Bumrah has held on to 16th position and Mohammed Shami has gained one place to take the 22nd slot. Jadeja has gained one place to reach fifth among bowlers and has also leapfrogged Windies captain Jason Holder into second place among all-rounders.

For Australia, opener Marcus Harris has advanced 21 places to take a career-best 69th position after a fine 79 in the first innings while off-spinner Nathan Lyon has inched up from 14th to 13th position.

South Africa’s Aiden Markram has moved back into the top 10 after his knock of 78 at Cape Town, gaining seven slots to reach 10th position. Temba Bavuma has moved into the top 30 for the first time (up five places to 26th) after his score of 75 while captain Faf du Plessis’s first-innings century has lifted him six places to 16th position.

Among their bowlers, Vernon Philander has gained one slot to reach third position while Duanne Olivier has continued his surge to move up to 32nd place from 36th.

For Pakistan, Asad Shafiq has benefitted by five places to reach 24th position after scores of 20 and 88 while Babar Azam is only one slot behind after gaining two places. Shan Masood has moved up 22 places to a career-best 65th while captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has moved up from 42nd to 37th place.

Among their bowlers, Shaheen Afridi has gained 13 slots to reach 60th place after taking four wickets in the match, which Pakistan lost by nine wickets to concede a decisive 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

There has been no change in position or points for India in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings, while Australia have lost one point but remain in fifth position.

 

MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings (as on 8 January, after the Australia-India series):

 

RANK  TEAM              POINTS

1.      India                 116

2.      England            108

3.      New Zealand    107

4.      South Africa     106

5.      Australia           101

6.      Pakistan            92

7.      Sri Lanka           91

8.      West Indies       70

9.      Bangladesh       69

10.   Zimbabwe         13

11.   Afghanistan       00

12.   Ireland               00

 

MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 8 January, after the Sydney and Cape Town Tests):

 

Batsmen (top 10)

 

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts       Avge   Highest Rating

   1        ( - )       Virat Kohli         Ind       922      53.76   937 v Eng at Southampton 2018

   2        ( - )       K. Williamson    NZ        897      51.44   915 v SL at Wellington 2018

   3        (+1)      C. Pujara          Ind       881      51.18   888 v SL at Nagpur 2017

   4        (-1)       Steve Smith      Aus      874      61.37   947 v SA at Durban 2018

   5        ( - )       Joe Root           Eng      807      50.44   917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015

   6        ( - )       David Warner    Aus      772      48.20   880 v NZ at Perth 2015

   7        ( - )       Henry Nicholls   NZ        763*!   43.54   763 v SL at Christchurch 2018

   8        ( - )       Dean Elgar        SA        727       40.96   784 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

   9        ( - )       D. Karunaratne SL        715       37.08   754 v SA at Colombo (SSC) 2018

  10       (+7)      Aiden Markram SA        698*    45.20   759 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018 

 

Other selected rankings

 

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts      Avge    Highest Rating

11=     (+2)      A. Mathews       SL        687      44.79    877 v NZ at Christchurch 2014

16        (+6)      Faf du Plessis   SA        674      42.07    734 v Ind at Centurion 2018

17        (+21)    Rishabh Pant    Ind       673*!   49.71    673 v Aus at Sydney 2019

24        (+5)      Asad Shafiq      Pak      634      39.06    758 v Eng at Lord's 2016

25        (+2)      Babar Azam      Pak      629*!   35.30    629 v SA at Cape Town 2019

26=     (-2)       Q. de Kock        SA        627      36.89    802 v NZ at Hamilton 2017

            (+5)      T. Bavuma        SA        627!     35.41    627 v Pak at Cape Town 2019

57        (+6)      R. Jadeja          Ind       488      32.28    511 v Win at Rajkot 2018

69        (+21)    Marcus Harris   Aus      446*!   36.85    446 v Ind at Sydney 2019

 

 

Bowlers (top 10)

 

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts      Avge    Highest Rating

   1        ( - )       K. Rabada         SA        893      21.35    902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018

   2        ( - )       J. Anderson      Eng      874      26.98    903 v Ind at Lord's 2018

   3=     (+1)      V. Philander      SA        804      21.75    912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013

            ( - )       Pat Cummins    Aus      804*    24.51    836 v Ind at Melbourne 2018

   5        (+1)      R. Jadeja          Ind       794      23.68    899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017

   6        (-1)       M. Abbas          Pak      789*    17.90    838 v NZ at Abu Dhabi 2018

   7        ( - )       Trent Boult        NZ        771      27.90    825 v Eng at Lord's 2015

   8        (+1)      Tim Southee     NZ        767      29.93    799 v Win at Jamaica 2014

   9        (-1)       R. Ashwin         Ind       763      25.43    904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016

  10       ( - )       Jason Holder     Win      751*    28.50    766 v Ind at Hyderabad 2018 

 

Other selected rankings

 

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts      Avge    Highest Rating

  13       (+1)      Nathan Lyon     Aus      723      32.10    774 v Eng at Adelaide 2017

  14       (+1)      Neil Wagner      NZ        721      28.88    785 v Win at Wellington 2017

  22       (+1)      M. Shami          Ind       660      29.54    703 v SA at Johannesburg 2018

  32       (+4)      Duanne Olivier  SA        560*!   18.81    560 v Pak at Cape Town 2019

  45       (+7)      Kuldeep Yadav  Ind       402*!   24.12   402 v Aus at Sydney 2019

  60       (+13)    Shaheen Afridi  Pak      274*!   31.41   274 v SA at Cape Town 2019

 

All-rounders (top five)

 

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team      Pts      Highest Rating

   1        ( - )       S. Al Hasan       Ban      415      489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

   2        (+1)      R. Jadeja          Ind       387      438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017

   3        (-1)       Jason Holder     Win      365/*   381 v Ind at Hyderabad 2018

   4        ( - )       V. Philander      SA        353      378 v SL at Galle 2018

   5        ( - )       Ben Stokes       Eng      342      396 v Win at Lord's 2017

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