“Priceless” is what Virat Kohli called Cheteshwar Pujara after his mammoth innings in Ranchi and just a day after the drawn Test, the ICC standings reflect just how much the India number 3 has improved in the last season.
Overtaking his skipper, Pujara has climbed to a career-best number 2 spot in the rankings for Test batsmen. This, riding majorly on his double century against Australia where he batted for a record 525 minutes, and along with Wriddhiman Saha managed to not only overcome Australia’s first innings score of 451, but also get the team a 152-run lead.
Among the bowlers too, India has two players in the top three. Riding on his nine wickets in Ranchi, Ravindra Jadeja has overtaken Ravichandran Ashwin to become the sole number 1 bowler in the format. Jadeja, who grabbed five for 124 and four for 52 in Ranchi, has gained seven points after starting joint-first with Ashwin at 892 points.
The left-arm spinner has become only the third Indian player after Ashwin and Bishan Singh Bedi to top the bowling charts on his own.
Pujara Top Indian in Tests
Pujara has climbed four places in the standings, having collected a total of 861 points and replaced New Zealand captain Kane Williamson at the spot. Indian skipper Virat Kohli remained static at fourth position, having scored a total of 46 runs in three Tests against Australia this month.
Aussie skipper Steve Smith remains the number 1 ranked batsman in Tests with a career-high rating of 941 points after scores of 178 not out and 21 in Ranchi.
Jadeja Overtakes Ashwin
In the bowlers’ standings, Ravindra Jadeja has closed in on a major landmark as his tally of 899 rating points has put him on the brink of becoming only the second Indian bowler after Ashwin to touch the 900-point mark. Ashwin, who had a highest rating of 904 points, has slipped 37 points behind Jadeja to 862 points after finishing with just two wickets in Ranchi.
Meanwhile, the race for the second spot in the ICC Test team rankings has become interesting as Australia and South Africa compete ahead of the cut-off date of 1 April, on which India is assured of finishing first and getting a cash award of USD 1 million.
Australia will finish second and get a cash award of USD 5,00,000 with at least a draw in the last Test in Dharamsala while South Africa can finish second if Australia loses with South Africa either winning or drawing the last match against New Zealand in Hamilton.
The third-placed team on April 1 will receive USD 200,000 while the fourth-placed team, which will be England, will get USD 100,000.
(With inputs from PTI)