India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin slipped a place to take the third position in the latest ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers today. Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath has climbed to second position after grabbing his eighth 10-wicket match haul and helping win the one-off Test against Zimbabwe in Colombo by four wickets. Herath leapfrogged Ashwin to move within 32 points of Ravindra Jadeja, making it a 1-2 for left-arm spinners. The 39-year-old Herath, who is the most successful left- arm spinner in Tests with a tally of 384 wickets in 81 matches, finished with a match haul of 11 for 249 in Colombo to move up a list in which England’s James Anderson and Australia’s Josh Hazlewood are the highest ranked pace bowlers in joint-fourth position. Herath was not the only left-arm spinner to gain in the rankings. South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj’ has moved up 12 slots to 26th position after grabbing six wickets in his team’s 340 -run win over England at Trent Bridge. Maharaj now tallies 543 points, the fourth highest by a South Africa spinner since the country’s return to Test cricket in 1992. Paul Harris (705), Paul Adams (588) and Nicky Boje (545) are the only South Africa spinners with higher point tallies in this period. Zimbabwe captain and leg-spinner Graeme Cremer’s nine wickets in Colombo have helped him gain 20 places to a career-best 53rd slot while Anderson’s seven wickets at Trent Bridge have pushed him up one place from fifth position.
In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, Hashim Amla is back in the top 10, having gained six places to reach 7th position with knocks of 78 and 87 against England, while Zimbabwe batsman Craig Ervine’ (up 20 places to 40th) and Sikandar Raza (up 28 places to 48th) have attained career-best positions after knocking up centuries against Sri Lanka.
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For Sri Lanka, player of the match Asela Gunaratne has gained 19 positions to reach a career-high rank of 79th after innings of 45 and 80 not out, which enabled a successful chase after being set a huge target of 388 runs for a win by Zimbabwe.
South Africa all-rounder Vernon Philander has, meanwhile, made a charge back towards the number one spot for all- rounders with a player of the match performance at Trent Bridge. Philander scored 54 and 42 and grabbed five wickets against England to gain two places and reach fifth position in a list led by Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan.