A solid showing in India’s recently-concluded T20I series against Australia has seen Kuldeep Yadav break into the top-five of the ICC rankings for T20I bowlers for the first time.
The chinaman bowler, who claimed four wickets while being economical all through the three-match series, jumped a massive 20 places in the rankings to find himself in third, behind fellow wrist-spinners Rashid Khan and Shadab Khan.
Another wrist-spinner to shine during the 1-1 draw between Australia and India, Australia’s Adam Zampa, also made a maiden breakthrough into the top-five. Zampa, who was the match-winner in the opening game with a spell of 2/22, made a 17-spot leap to number five after his three-wicket haul from the series.
A Good Time for Spinners in T20Is
The world feared for the survival of spin-bowling at the advent of T20 cricket in the 2000s, but T20Is in 2018 present a different picture.
While Yadav and Zampa shot up on the back of the Australia-India contest, fast bowlers Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye fell out of the top-ten.
Nine of the top-10 ranked bowlers in T20Is now are spinners, with the top-five exclusively a wrist-spinners’ club. Pakistan’s Fahim Ashraf is the sole fast bowler among the top-ten.
Krunal Pandya, who claimed 4/36 in India’s series-levelling win in the final T20I, also rose 66 places to occupy the 98th rank in ICC’s latest update. Indian pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah held their places at No.19 and No.21 respectively.
Middling Returns for Batsmen
In the batting department, the results were mixed.
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan moved up five places to No.11 after his knocks of 76 and 41, but Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul slipped two spots to No.6 and No.9 respectively, while Virat Kohli kept his spot at No.14 after scores of 4 and 61*.
For Australia, skipper Aaron Finch, who failed to be his destructive self in all four games including the one-off T20I against South Africa, slipped one spot to the third rank, but Glenn Maxwell rose to the fifth place from No.6 after scores of 38, 46, 19 and 13.
The batting rankings in the shortest format continue to be helmed by Pakistan’s Babar Azam, with Colin Munro of New Zealand second.
Team Rankings: Test Summit India’s to Lose
India continue to hold on to the top spot in the Test team rankings, but England have claimed second position on the team rankings after completing a 3-0 sweep over Sri Lanka in Colombo on Monday, 26 November.
Joe Root’s side began the series ranked third on 106 points, one behind South Africa, but their dismantling of a free-falling Sri Lanka saw them climb a spot. The Lankans, meanwhile, have slid behind Pakistan to seventh.
India still enjoy an eight-point lead over England going into their much-anticipated Test series in Australia, and will need an absolute howler to relinquish the summit.
Only a 4-0 whitewash Down Under, coupled with a South African win over Pakistan in a three-Test series starting 26 December, will see Virat Kohli’s side displaced as the No. 1 Test team.
If Australia win all four Tests against India, and South Africa beat Pakistan 3-0, then South Africa will be the new No.1-ranked side, ahead of Australia by a fraction of a point.
In this scenario, England and India will be equal on 108 points with England ranked above India when the points are calculated beyond the decimal point.
Australia can also top the team rankings, but to make this happen, Tim Paine's side will have to win all four Tests against India and then hope Pakistan either draw or win a Test against South Africa. If Australia and South Africa win 4-0 and 2-1 respectively, then Australia will be first on 110 points and South Africa will be fourth on 108 points.
(With inputs from PTI)
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