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General News Ashwin inches closer to becoming number one ranked Test bowler
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[Image: prv_73a22_1474962541.jpg]
Ashwin could now overtake Steyn with a strong performance in the second Test.

Thanks to their exploits in the just concluded Kanpur Test, India's Ravichandran Ashwin and New Zealand captain, Kane Williamson, were the big gainers in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings. Both players gained one place each to reach the second ranking in the bowler and the batsman category respectively.

Ashwin finished with a match-haul of 10 for 225 (four for 93 and six for 132) as India crushed New Zealand by a massive 197-run margin in the first Test, thereby helping the off-spinner leapfrog past England's James Anderson, into the second place in the bowler's ranking list. With 871 points, Ashwin is just seven points adrift of top-ranked South Africa pace bowler, Dale Steyn. Another strong performance in the Kolkata Test will see the off-spinner usurp Steyn at the top of the table - a position he last held at the beginning of 2016.

Ashwin also consolidated his position as the number-one ranked all-rounder, following his all-round show in Kanpur. The Indian number seven batsman chipped in with a useful 40 in India's first innings and wasn't required to bat during the second dig. It has helped extend his status as the top-ranked all-rounder, having reached a career-best 450 rating points. Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, is a distant second, with 384 rating points.

Similarly, Williamson, who made 75 and 25 in the Kanpur Test, gained enough points to go past England's Joe Root, into the second position in the batting charts. The New Zealand captain has now accrued 879 rating points, one more than Root and 27 points less than number-one ranked batsman, Australia captain, Steve Smith.

There was bad news however for India captain, Virat Kohli, who slipped four places to 20th after a couple of disappointing scores in Kanpur. So did Ajinkya Rahane, falling out of the top-10, after a couple of average scores. But there was good news for Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara, who both made fifties in both innings at Green Park. It helped them rise from joint 20th to joint 16th in the latest rankings.

For New Zealand, Mitchell Santner, who impressed one and all with his tidy batting and accurate bowling, was the biggest gainer, leaping 12 spots, from 59th to 47th, in the latest bowling rankings. On the other hand, Ross Taylor, slipped one place to 15 after a disappointing show with the bat in Kanpur.

India continued to stay at number two in the ICC Test team rankings, but can go past Pakistan to the top spot, if they secure victory at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. The hosts were earlier trailing their arch-rivals by a point and needed to win the series to get ahead of them.

Source:
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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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