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Ashwin still leads Test rankings while Rabada, De Kock leap

November 08, 2016 15:36 IST

Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Kane Williamson

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Kane Williamson. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada and wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock have achieved career-high positions in the latest ICC Test Player Rankings after firing South Africa to an emphatic 177-run victory over Australia in the opening Test of the three-match series in Perth on Monday.

Meanwhile, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin continued to hold on to the top spot in the bowlers' chart.

The Tamil Nadu bowler leads the field by a distance as he is the only bowler touching the 900-point mark.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja is the other Indian bowler to feature inside the top-10 in seventh position.

In the bowling index, Josh Hazlewood rose two places to ninth following his five wickets in the Perth Test, while Mitchell Marsh gained three places and is now in 50th spot after taking two for 77 in the second innings at the WACA.

Kagiso Rabada of South Africa celebrates with team mates after dismissing Steve Smith of Australia

IMAGE: Kagiso Rabada of South Africa celebrates with team mates after dismissing Steve Smith of Australia. Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images

South Africa’s Rabada has jumped 10 places to 20th position in the bowlers' table following figures of two for 78 and five for 92, which later earned him the `Man of the Match` award.

The 21-year-old is the fourth South Africa fast bowler to feature inside the top 20 after Dale Steyn (second but ruled out of the series due to a shoulder injury), Vernon Philander (11th) and Morne Morkel (13th).

Rabada now has Australia's Nathan Lyon firmly within his sights as the 16th-ranked off-spinner is 51 points ahead.

Because the Johannesburg-born fast bowler is still in his qualification period, he has an excellent chance of leapfrogging the Australian, depending on how he performs in the Hobart and Adelaide Tests.

A bowler qualifies for a full rating after he has taken 100 wickets, while Rabada has claimed 36 wickets in nine Tests.

India’s Ajinkya Rahane (left) and Virat Kohli

IMAGE: India’s Ajinkya Rahane (left) and Virat Kohli. Photograph: PTI

In the batsmen's list, India’s middle-order mainstay Ajinkya Rahane has gained a place to be at the fifth position in the batsmen's list in the latest ICC Test rankings.

No other Indian except Rahane figures inside the top-10.

Cheteshwar Pujara (13th) and skipper Virat Kohli (15th) are the notable batsmen in the top 20.

South Africa’s De Kock scored 84 and 64 for which he has been rewarded with a jump of 11 places. This has put the left-hander in 20th spot in the batting chart.

The wicketkeeper-batsman has now become South Africa's third batsman to feature inside the top 20. Hashim Amla is sixth after dropping out of the top five following a five-place slide, while AB de Villiers, who is missing the series due to an injury, is seventh.

De Kock looks strong to gain more points, which means he can move further up the order as he is still in the qualification period. A batsman qualifies for a full rating after he has played in 40 Test innings, while de Kock has so far scored 720 runs in 17 innings of 11 Tests.

Australia's Peter Nevill celebrates his half century against South Africa on Day 5 of the first Test at the WACA in Perth

IMAGE: Australia's Peter Nevill celebrates his half century against South Africa on Day 5 of the first Test at the WACA in Perth. Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images

The other South Africa players to reap the benefits for stellar performances in the Perth Test include opener Dean Elgar, who has achieved a career-high 24th position after rising five places, and JP Duminy, whose fourth career century has lifted him nine places to 38th position.

The good news for Australia in the batting table is the movement of David Warner in eighth (up by one place), Shaun Marsh in 31st (up two places) and Usman Khawaja in 33rd (up four places).

Australian ’keeper Peter Nevill climbed 14 places to 80th.

Ashwin also heads the Test all-rounders’ rankings.

South Africa's Vernon Philander scored 10 and 73, and had match figures of five for 111, which helped him move up one place to sixth in the all-rounders' category.

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