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Ashwin ends 2015 as No 1 Test bowler and all-rounder

Last updated on: December 31, 2015 15:00 IST

Ravindra Jadeja ends the year at No 6 in bowlers' rankings.

Ajinkya Rahane No 11 among Test batsmen; only Indian in Top 20.

Ravichandran Ashwin

IMAGE: India's Ravichandran Ashwin appeals for a wicket. Photograph: PTI

Riding on his stupendous performance in the series against South Africa, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, on Thursday, rose to a career-high first in the International Cricket Council's Test rankings for bowlers.

Ashwin has become the first India bowler since Bishen Bedi in 1973 to achieve the milestone of finishing the year in No 1 Test position.

Ashwin has finished 2015 as the most successful bowler with 62 wickets in nine Tests, and this is reflected in his ranking after he started the year in 15th position and slowly but surely moved to the top of the chart.

"Finishing the year as the No 1 ranked Test bowler is like an icing on the cake that I have managed to build over the past last 12 months. I always wanted to get there one day. There can't be a better way to finish the 2015," Ashwin said.

"Replicating what Mr Bedi did is something I am very proud of. The former India captain was a master at his craft and I am very humbled to follow in his footsteps."

 "I would like to thank my Test captain Virat Kohli, who has been a big influence, and, of course, the team management, my team-mates and the BCCI for their continued support," said Ashwin.

Ashwin, in contrast, has achieved the number-one spot for first time in his career after injury prevented Dale Steyn from bowling more than 3.5 overs in England’s second innings. Even though the fast bowler bagged four wickets in the first innings, these were not enough for him to end the year as the number-one ranked bowler for the sixth time since 2009.

India's Ravindra Jadeja, who also had an impressive outing against the South Africans, ended the year at sixth. Ashwin and Jadeja are the only two Indians in the top 10 rankings of the Test bowlers.

Ashwin, for the second time in three years, also finished as the number-one ranked Test all-rounder.

Steven Smith

IMAGE: Australia's Steve Smith bats. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Australia captain Steve Smith finished 2015 as the number-one ranked batsman. Smith, who last week won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Cricketer of the Year as well as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year award, had entered the Melbourne Test in fourth position. However, after scoring 134 not out and 70 not out, the 26-year-old has leapfrogged Kane Williamson of New Zealand, England’s Joe Root and AB de Villiers of South Africa into the top spot.

However, after scoring 134 not out and 70 not out, the 26-year-old leapfrogged Kane Williamson of New Zealand, England’s Joe Root and AB de Villiers of South Africa into the top spot.

Williamson, Root, de Villiers, Smith and David Warner had a chance to finish the year as the number-one ranked Test batsman after they were separated by 26 points in the lead up to the final Tests of the year.

While Williamson was busy in the ODI series against Sri Lanka, Root scored 24 and 73, de Villiers made 49 and 37 and Warner chipped in with 23 and 17.

Meanwhile, Ajinkya Rahane ended at 11th among Test batsmen and he is the only Indian in the top 20.

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