Pujara reaches career-high ICC ranking


Cheteshwar Pujara has broken into the top 20 of the ICC rankings for Test Batsmen for the first time in his career, following the conclusion of the Colombo Test, which India won by 117 runs to clinch the series 2-1.

The 27-year-old batsman carried his bat in the first innings and returned unbeaten on 145 not out, his seventh career century, which was the cornerstone of India’s first innings score of 312. For this performance, Pujara was rewarded with a jump of four places, which put him in 20th position.

Pujara became the second India batsman to feature in the top 20, but following Virat Kohli’s drop to 11th (down by one place), the fifth-ranked side ended the series with no batsman inside the top 10.

Apart from Pujara, there were a few other middle-order batsmen who made significant contributions to India’s cause at the Singhalese Sports Club, which, in turn, have helped them to head in the right direction.

Rohit Sharma moved up two places to 48th, Ravichandran Ashwin gained five places to 50th spot, while Amit Mishra, who scored 59 in the first innings and featured in a 104 runs eighth wicket partnership with Pujara, vaulted 56 places to 91st.

It was a disappointing Test for Sri Lanka batsmen. However, Angelo Mathews retained his fifth ranking following his seventh career century (110 in the second innings). He moved 11 points adrift of fourth-ranked South Africa captain Hashim Amla.

Meanwhile, there were no changes to the top 10 of the rankings for Test Bowlers. However, there were improvements for Ishant Sharma, who reached the 200-wicket mark after claiming match figures of eight for 86. As a result, the fast bowler moved up three places to 18th.

Mishra’s three for 72 in the match elevated him two places to a career-high 37th, while Umesh Yadav also improved his ranking by two places to 42nd.

Sri Lanka trio of Dhammika Prasad (up three places to 22nd), Nuwan Pradeep (up 12 to 57th) and Mathews (up two to 71st) also all made career-high gains.