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Smith and Ashwin finish 2015 as number-one ranked batsman and bowler respectively

Voges, Elgar, Khawaja, Bairstow, Taylor, Broad, Lyon, Ali, Marsh and Piedt end year in career-high rankings

Smith and Ashwin finish 2015 as number-one ranked batsman and bowler respectively - Cricket News
Ashwin: “Finishing the year as the number-one bowler is like an icing on the cake that I have managed to build over the past last 12 months”

Ashwin also ends up as top-ranked Test all-rounder
 

Australia captain Steve Smith and Ravichandran Ashwin of India have finished 2015 as the number-one ranked batsman and bowler respectively in the ICC Test Player Rankings, which were released today following the conclusion of the Boxing Day Tests in Durban and Melbourne.

Smith, who last week won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Cricketer of the Year as well as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year award, had entered the Melbourne Test in fourth position. However, after scoring 134 not out and 70 not out, the 26-year-old has leapfrogged Kane Williamson of New Zealand, England’s Joe Root and AB de Villiers of South Africa into the top spot.

Ashwin, in contrast, has achieved the number-one spot for first time in his career after injury prevented Dale Steyn from bowling more than 3.5 overs in England’s second innings. Even though the fast bowler bagged four wickets in the first innings, these were not enough for him to end the year as the number-one ranked bowler for the sixth time since 2009.

Steyn had started the Durban Test leading Ashwin by four points and now trails the India off-spinner by the same margin.

In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, Williamson, Root, de Villiers, Smith and David Warner had a chance to finish the year as the number-one ranked Test batsman after they were separated by 26 points in the lead up to the final Tests of the year.

While Williamson was busy in the ODI series against Sri Lanka, Root scored 24 and 73, de Villiers made 49 and 37 and Warner chipped in with 23 and 17.

Smith, who was also named in the ICC Test and ODI Teams of the Year, is the third Australia batsman in the last decade after Ricky Ponting (2005 and 2006) and Michael Clarke (2012) to finish the year as the number-one ranked batsman. Other batsmen since 2005 to finish the year as the top batsman are Kumar Sangakkara (2007, 2010 and 2011), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (2008), Gautam Gambhir (2009) and de Villiers (2013 and 2014).

Smith also finished 2015 as the leading run-scorer with 1,474 runs. This performance is clearly reflected in his ranking; he started the year in fifth position, achieved the number-one position for the first time after the Kingston Test against the West Indies in June, before finishing the year on top of the tree after hovering inside the top five in the last quarter of the year.

There was good news for Adam Voges, Dean Elgar, Usman Khawaja, Jonny Bairstow and James Taylor who have ended the year in their career-best rankings.

Voges scored 106 in his only innings at the MCG and has jumped up four places to 11th, Elgar has gained 12 places and is now in 28th position after scoring 118 not out and 40 in Durban, Khawaja has vaulted 11 places to 39th after scores of 144 and 56, Bairstow’s 41 and 79 have lifted him 13 places to 43rd and Taylor has stormed up 46 places to 61st after contributions of 70 and 42.

In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Ashwin has become the first India bowler since Bishen Bedi in 1973 to achieve the milestone of finishing the year in number-one Test position.

In fact, Bedi, an ICC Hall of Famer, is the only India bowler to ever top the Test bowling table, while Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, Kapil Dev and Anil Kumble peaked at number-two during their careers.

Ashwin has finished 2015 as the most successful bowler with 62 wickets in nine Tests, and this is reflected in his ranking after he started the year in 15th position and slowly but surely moved to the top of the chart.

In the past decade, Shane Warne has finished in the top position in 2005 and Muttiah Muralidaran completed a hat-trick from 2006 to 2008, before Steyn got his grip on the top spot which was only broken in 2013 when his team-mate Vernon Philander topped the table.

Reacting to the news, Ashwin said: “Finishing the year as the number-one ranked Test bowler is like an icing on the cake that I have managed to build over the past last 12 months. I always wanted to get there one day. “There can’t be a better way to finish the 2015.

“Replicating what Mr Bedi did is something I am very proud of. The former India captain was a master at his craft and I am very humbled to follow in his footsteps.

“I would like to thank my Test captain Virat Kohli, who has been a big influence, and, of course, the team management, my team-mates and the BCCI for their continued support.”

England’s Stuart Broad was the second leading wicket-taker in 2015 with 56 wickets in 14 Tests. This includes five wickets in the Durban Test, which have proved to be the cornerstone of his career-high third position in the latest rankings.

Broad, who started the year in eighth position, has now become England’s highest-ranked bowler after James Anderson who has slipped to fifth after missing the Durban Test due to an injury.

Other bowlers to finish the year on career-high rankings include Nathan Lyon in 14th place (up by one), Moeen Ali in 23rd (up by seven places), Mitchell Marsh ion 52nd (up by nine places) and Dane Piedt in 59th (up by five places).

Ashwin, for the second time in three years, has finished as the number-one ranked Test all-rounder. Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan had started 2015 as the top all-rounder.

The ICC Test Player Rankings will now be updated at the end of the Sydney and Cape Town Tests.

ICC TEST PLAYER RANKINGS (as on 31 December, after Durban and Melbourne Tests)

Batsmen (top 10)

Rank     (+/-)       Player                  Team     Points    Avge      HS Ranking

   1         (+3)       Steve Smith         Aus        899        57.90    936 v Eng at Lord's 2015

   2         (-1)        K. Williamson     NZ         889        49.93    893 v Aus at Perth 2015

   3         (-1)        Joe Root               Eng        888        54.68    917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015

   4         (-1)        AB de Villiers     SA         877        51.29    935 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2014

   5         ( - )        David Warner      Aus        827        49.94    880 v NZ at Perth 2015

   6         ( - )        Younus Khan       Pak        826        53.94    880 v SL at Lahore 2009

   7         (+1)       Angelo Mathews SL          808        50.18    877 v NZ at Christchurch 2014

   8         (-1)        Hashim Amla      SA         774        50.05    907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013

   9=       (+1)       Misbah-ul-Haq    Pak        764        48.89    842 v NZ at Abu Dhabi 2014

              ( - )        Alastair Cook      Eng        764        47.05    874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012

 

Selected rankings

 

Rank     (+/-)       Player                  Team     Points    Avge      HS Ranking

  11=      ( - )        Ajinkya Rahane   Ind         753!      44.97    753 v SA at Delhi 2015

              (+4)       Adam Voges        Aus        753*!    85.66    753 v WI at Melbourne 2015

  23=      ( - )        M. Hafeez            Pak        642!      40.85    642 v Eng at Sharjah 2015

              (+2)       Darren Bravo       WI         642        41.61    709 v Aus at Trinidad 2012

  28        (+12)     Dean Elgar           SA         611*!    38.72    611 v Eng at Durban 2015

  30        (-4)        Faf du Plessis      SA         588        41.21    710 v WI at Port Elizabeth 2014

  36        (-1)        K. Brathwaite      WI         545        33.35    591 v Eng at Grenada 2015

  39        (+11)     Usman Khawaja  Aus        533*!    46.36    533 v WI at Melbourne 2015

  42        (-5)        Marlon Samuels  WI         523        33.81    672 v Zim at Barbados 2013

  43        (+13)     Jonny Bairstow    Eng        514*!    28.38    514 v SA at Durban 2015

  47        (-2)        JP Duminy           SA         496        32.80    586 v SL at Galle 2014

  48        (-2)        J. Blackwood       WI         492*     34.34    575 v Eng at Barbados 2015

  51        (+10)     Joe Burns             Aus        458*     44.38    467 v NZ at Brisbane 2015

  53        (-5)        Ben Stokes           Eng        453*     27.72    594 v Aus at Lord's 2015

  56        (-6)        Moeen Ali           Eng        441*     26.53    517 v Aus at The Oval 2015

  61        (+46)     James Taylor       Eng        420*!    34.00    420 v SA at Durban 2015

  62        (RE)       Nick Compton     Eng        418*     36.05    443 v NZ at Wellington 2013

  64        ( - )        Denesh Ramdin   WI         411        25.54    493 v NZ at Barbados 2014

  67        (+1)       Jason Holder        WI         406*     28.68    415 v Aus at Jamaica 2015

 
Bowlers (top 10)

 

Rank     (+/-)       Player                  Team     Points    Avge      HS Ranking

   1         (+1)       R. Ashwin            Ind         871!      25.39    871 v SA at Delhi 2015

   2         (-1)        Dale Steyn           SA         867        22.53    909 v WI at Centurion 2014

   3         (+2)       Stuart Broad        Eng        859!      28.83    859 v SA at Durban 2015

   4         (-1)        Yasir Shah           Pak        846*!    24.17    846 v Eng at Sharjah 2015

   5         (-2)        James Anderson  Eng        838        28.96    847 v WI at Barbados 2015

   6         (+1)       Ravindra Jadeja   Ind         789*!    23.76    789 v SA at Delhi 2015

   7         (+1)       Trent Boult          NZ         787        28.28    825 v Eng at Lord's 2015

   8         (-2)        Josh Hazlewood  Aus        752*     24.13    792 v WI at Hobart 2015

   9         ( - )        Vernon Philander SA         739        22.08    912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013

  10        ( - )        Tim Southee        NZ         731        31.47    799 v WI at Jamaica 2014

 

Selected rankings

 

Rank     (+/-)       Player                  Team     Points    Avge      HS Ranking

  11        ( - )        Morne Morkel     SA         730        29.16    776 v Aus at Cape Town 2011

  14        (+1)       Nathan Lyon        Aus        674!      33.31    674 v WI at Melbourne 2015

  16        ( - )        Peter Siddle         Aus        625        29.99    816 v Eng at Old Trafford 2013

  19        (+3)       Steven Finn         Eng        592        27.84    624 v NZ at Headingley 2013

  20        (-1)        Kemar Roach       WI         582        30.00    774 v SA at Centurion 2014

  23        (+7)       Moeen Ali           Eng        557*!    35.67    557 v SA at Durban 2015

  25        (+3)       James Pattinson   Aus        552*     25.75    573 v Ind at Hyderabad 2013

  27        (-2)        Jerome Taylor     WI         528*     34.25    717 v Eng at Jamaica 2009

  42        ( - )        Ben Stokes           Eng        399*     40.67    442 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2015

  52        (+9)       Mitchell Marsh   Aus        349*!    30.90    349 v WI at Melbourne 2015

  54        (-10)      Kyle Abbott         SA         340*     23.38    383 v Ind at Delhi 2015

  56        ( - )        Jason Holder        WI         328*     38.28    365 v SL at Colombo (PSS) 2015

  59        (+5)       Dane Piedt           SA         313*!    29.88    313 v Eng at Durban 2015

  64        (-6)        JP Duminy           SA         296*     37.69    342 v Ban at Mirpur 2015

 

All-rounders (top 10)

 

Rank     (+/-)       Player                  Team     Points    HS Ranking

  1          ( - )        R. Ashwin            Ind         406       419 v WI at Mumbai 2013

   2         ( - )        Shakib Al Hasan  Ban        384       419 v Zim at Khulna 2014

   3         ( - )        Stuart Broad        Eng        326       382 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2012

   4         ( - )        Vernon Philander SA         293*/    376 v Aus at Cape Town 2014

   5         ( - )        Ravindra Jadeja   Ind         259*/*! 259 v SA at Delhi 2015

 

*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.

 

!indicates career-highest rating

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