Williamson, Warner narrow the gap with number-1 ranked de Villiers

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KARACHI, Nov 18 (APP): Kane Williamson of New Zealand and Australia’s David Warner have number-one ranked AB de Villiers firmly within their sights after achieving career-best rankings in the latest ICC Test Player Rankings, which were released on Wednesday following
the conclusion of the Bengaluru and Perth Tests.
Williamson has jumped three places to join Australia captain Steven Smith in second spot following scores of 166 and 32 not out,while Warner’s 253 and 24 have lifted him three places to fifth, said an International Cricket Council (ICC) media release.
The top five batsmen, four of whom are likely to feature in the
third Tests in Nagpur and Adelaide later this month, are now separated
by just 19 points with Smith and Williamson trailing de Villiers by
six points and Warner another 13 points behind.
This means that the battle for the coveted number-one
position, post the conclusion of the two series, remains tight as
there will be a further reshuffle at the top of the order depending on
how these batsmen perform.
Former skipper Younis Khan is ranked 8th in the Test batting
ranking after becoming the first Pakistan batsman to complete 9000
runs.
Ross Taylor, who won the player of the match award at the
WACA, has returned to the top 10 for the first time in 12 months.
Taylor scored 290 and 36 not out, for which he has been rewarded with
a jump of seven places that has put him in 10th spot.
Outside the top 20, there were movements for Adam Voges,
Shikhar Dhawan and Usman Khawaja. Voges and Khawaja, who also scored
centuries in Perth, have achieved career-best rankings to date by
moving to 32nd and 47th positions, respectively, while Dhawan has
gained five positions and is now in 33rd spot.
In the bowling chart, India’s left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja
has achieved a career-best ranking. Jadeja returned figures of
16-2-50-4 in a rain-affected Test, which has lifted him eight places
to 13th in the latest rankings. Jadeja is now the third India bowler
to feature inside the top 20 after Ravichandran Ashwin (fifth) and
Ishant Sharma (20th).
New Zealand’s Doug Bracewell is the other bowler who has
improved his rankings. The right-arm fast bowler took three wickets in
the Perth Test and has now moved up six places to 41st.
South Africa’s Dale Steyn has retained his number-one position
but has fallen from the 900-point mark for the first time since
December 2013 after missing the Bengaluru Test. He is now on 893
points, still 47 points clear of his nearest rival James Anderson of
England.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Mitchell Johnson has signed off on his
international cricket on a high.
The left-arm fast bowler, who won the ICC Cricketer of the Year
awards in 2009 and 2014, has finished in ninth bowling position, 84th
batting spot and fifth in all-rounders’ category. March 2009 saw him
rise to his career-best bowling, batting and all-rounders’ rankings of
second, 44th and second, respectively.
In One-Day Internationals, Johnson, who won the ICC Champions
Trophy 2006 as well as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 with Australia,
peaked at number-two in April 2009, while his highest ranking of
fourth in Twenty20 Internationals was in May 2010.
Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh continues to lead the
all-rounders’ list while Vernon Philander has dropped to fourth
after missing the Bengaluru Test, Jadeja has broken into the top 10
for the first time in his career in 10th position.