ICC Ratings: Pant matches Engineer’s feat; leaves Dhoni behind

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Rishabh Pant has spent lesser days wearing white flannels in international cricket than the number of Tests played by either Farokh Engineer or Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The Delhi left-hander wicketkeeper batsman has a long way to draw any parallels with the two established legends to have donned gloves for India on either side of the stumps.

However, in such a short span centurion of the Sydney Test has emulated Farokh Engineer for highest rating points for an Indian wicketkeeper. He has left Dhoni behind in the highest Test career ratings.

Rishabh Pant has attained new highs for an India wicketkeeper in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings after his superb century in the drawn final Test in Sydney, ICC has confirmed in a Press release.

The 21-year-old left-hander has gained 21 slots to reach the 17th place, the joint-highest by a specialist India wicketkeeper along with Farokh Engineer, who did so in January 1973. Pant’s aggregate of 673 rating points is the highest by an India wicketkeeper, with Dhoni having the next highest aggregate of 662 points and Engineer 619 points. Dhoni’s highest Test ranking was 19th.

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Pant, a star at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in 2016 when he scored an 18-ball half-century against Nepal, has moved into the top-20 after only his ninth Test match with an unbeaten 159. Pant had started the Australia tour in the 59th place and made rapid progress, scoring 350 runs in a series that also saw him take 20 catches.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 521 runs to help beat Australia 2-1 and claim the player of the series award, is another batsman to gain in the latest rankings update, which also takes into account performances in the second Test between South Africa and Pakistan in Cape Town.

Pujara has gained one slot to reach third position while all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (up six places to 57th) and rookie opener Mayank Agarwal (up five places to 62nd) are the others from his team to advance at the end of a historic series win.

Spinner Kuldeep Yadav has gained seven slots to reach a career-best 45th position after his figures of five for 99 in Australia’s first innings even as Jasprit Bumrah has held on to 16th position and Mohammed Shami has gained one place to take the 22nd slot. Jadeja has gained one place to reach fifth among bowlers and has also leapfrogged Windies captain Jason Holder into second place among all-rounders.

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For Australia, opener Marcus Harris has advanced 21 places to take a career-best 69th position after a fine 79 in the first innings while off-spinner Nathan Lyon has inched up from 14th to 13th position.

In spite of the historic series Down Under, there has been no change in position or points for India in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings, while Australia have lost one point but remain in fifth position.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings (as on 8 January, after the Australia-India series): 1. India (116 pts); 2. England (108); 3. New Zealand (107); 4. South Africa (106); 5. Australia (101); 6. Pakistan (92); 7. Sri Lanka (91); 8. West Indies (70); 9. Bangladesh (69); 10. Zimbabwe (13); 11. Afghanistan (00); and 12. Ireland (00).

Test Player Rankings (as on 8 January, after the Sydney and Cape Town Tests)

Batsmen (top 10): 1. Virat Kohli (Ind, 922); 2. K. Williamson (NZ, 897); 3. C Pujara (Ind, 881); 4. Steve Smith (Aus, 874); 5. Joe Root (Eng, 807); 6. David Warner (Aus, 772); 7. Henry Nicholls (NZ, 763), 8. Dean Elgar (SA, 727);9. D. Karunaratne (SL, 715); 10. Aiden Markram (SA, 698).

17 Rishabh Pant (Ind, 673), 57. R. Jadeja (Ind, 488).

Bowlers (top 10): 1. K. Rabada (SA, 893); 2. J. Anderson (Eng, 874); 3. V. Philander (SA, 804) and Pat Cummins (Aus, 804*); 5.R. Jadeja (Ind, 794); 6. M. Abbas (Pak, 789); 7.  Trent Boult (NZ, 771); 8. Tim Southee (NZ, 767); 9. R. Ashwin (Ind, 763); and 10. Jason Holder (Win, 751).

  1. M. Shami (Ind, 660) and 45. Kuldeep Yadav  (Ind, 402).

All-rounders (top five): 1. S. Al Hasan (Ban, 415); 2. R. Jadeja (Ind, 387); 3. Jason Holder (Win, 365; 4. V. Philander (SA, 353); and 5. Ben Stokes (Eng, 342).

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