India hero KL Rahul makes ICC rankings push after Centurion exploits

KL Rahul

India opener KL Rahul has made a gain of 18 slots to reach 31st position among batters in the ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings.

Rahul’s Man of the Match effort in Centurion helped India defeat South Africa by 113 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ICC World Test Championship series.

The India vice-captain struck 123 in the first innings and was involved in the all-important 117-run opening partnership with Mayank Agarwal as India became the first Asian team to win a Test match at SuperSport Park while gaining important points in the WTC points table.

Agarwal, who stroked 60 of those 117 runs, has gained one place for his contribution.

Ajinkya Rahane moves up two places to 25th in the latest update.

The top five of the Test batter rankings remains unchanged and headed by Marnus Labuschagne. Joe Root, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith and injured India star Rohit Sharma complete the leading quintet.

Fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami are other Indians to move up the rankings. Bumrah is up three spots to ninth after finishing with five wickets in the match while Shami’s eight wickets, including a five-for in the first innings, see him move up two places to 17th.

For South Africa, captain and opener Dean Elgar has progressed two spots to 14th after a fighting 77 in the second innings while Temba Bavuma is up 16 places to 39th for his scores of 52 and 35 not out.

Kagiso Rabada, who grabbed seven scalps, has advanced one place to sixth position while his fellow fast bowler Lungi Ngidi has gained 16 slots and is 30th on the list after finishing with eight wickets in the match. Debutant left-arm fast bowler Marco Jensen entered the rankings in 97th position.

Australia’s Pat Cummins is still the number one ranked Test bowler in the world, sporting a big lead over second-placed Ravichandran Ashwin who is himself some way ahead of third-placed Shaheen Afridi.

England’s veteran quick James Anderson is fifth on the rankings.

India are the number one ranked team, and will see that lead increase regardless of the result of their second Test against South Africa, after New Zealand’s loss to Bangladesh.

ICC Rankings updates are carried out on Wednesdays and include all matches that are completed by Tuesday each week.