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ICC Test rankings: Root closes in on top spot, Pujara climbs two places

November 14, 2016 20:00 IST

England's Joe Root celebrates after scoring his century against India on the opening day of the first Test in Rajkot on Wednesday 

IMAGE: England's Joe Root celebrates after scoring his century against India on the opening day of the first Test in Rajkot on Wednesday. Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

England batsman Joe Root and Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath have moved up to second positions in their respective ICC Test player rankings but failed to displace top-ranked batsman Steve Smith and bowler Ravichandran Ashwin.

Root's knocks of 124 and four in the drawn opening match of a five-Test series against India in Rajkot saw him leapfrog New Zealand captain Kane Williamson in the Test batsmen ranking.

Root, who was top-ranked in August 2015 during a home series against Australia and again two months later during a series against Pakistan in the UAE, is three points ahead of Williamson at 844 points and 42 points adrift of Australia captain Smith.

England captain Alastair Cook, who had scores of 21 and 130 in Rajkot, also moved up one slot to 10th and his team-mates Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes have made significant gains after slamming centuries in Rajkot.

A delighted Cheteshwar Pujara after completing his century in Rajkot on Friday

IMAGE: A delighted Cheteshwar Pujara after completing his century in the first Test in Rajkot on Friday. Photograph: BCCI

Ali has moved up six slots to 26th while Stokes gained eight places to sit in 32nd position.

England’s teenage opener Haseeb Hameed was placed in 64th position after scores of 31 and 82 in his debut Test in Rajkot.

Among Indian batsmen, Cheteshwar Pujara climbed two places to 11th spot, while captain Virat Kohli moved up one rung to 14th position. Opener Murali Vijay jumped up two places to 23rd.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka batsman Dhananjaya de Silva (30th) and the Zimbabwe pair of Craig Ervine (56th) and Sean Williams (71st) have attained career-best rankings after their performances in the second and final Test between the two teams in Harare.

Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath, right, celebrates after taking a wicket

IMAGE: Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath, right, celebrates after taking a wicket. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Lankan stand-in captain Herath's match haul of 13-152 in Harare that helped Sri Lanka complete a 2-0 series win, lifted him to the spot and leapfrog pace bowlers Dale Steyn of South Africa and James Anderson of England.

Herath was previously ranked number 2 in November 2012 and August 2014, but now enjoys a career-best rating of 867 points and is only 14 points behind World No 1, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin.

Another spinner to move up the rankings is England leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who gained 17 places to reach 61st position after his seven-wicket match haul in Rajkot.

England's Ben Stokes reached a career-best third-ranking among all-rounders but is 56 points behind second-placed Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh and 106 behind Ashwin. 

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