Dubai, Sep 2:
India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has jostled into the top 20 of the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings for the first time following his man of the match performance in the third Test against Sri Lanka.
India beat Sri Lanka by 117 runs in the third Test which concluded in Colombo on Tuesday to clinch the series 2-1. Pujara played a crucial role in the victory as his unbeaten knock of 145 runs was the cornerstone of India’s first innings score of 312.
It was the seventh Test century of Pujara’s career.
The 27-year-old has jumped up four places, and is now in the 20th position.
Even though Pujara has made the climb, India’s Test captain Virat Kohli has dropped a place and is now in the 11th spot.
It leaves the fifth-ranked Indian team 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 Sinhalese Sports Club ground, which, in turn, have helped them to head upwards in the table.
Rohit Sharma has moved up two places to 48th, Ravichandran Ashwin has gained five places and is now 50th, while Amit Mishra, who scored 59 in the first innings and featured in a 104-run eighth wicket partnership with Pujara, has vaulted 56 places to 91st.
It was a disappointing Test for the Sri Lankan batsmen. However, skipper Angelo Mathews has retained his fifth rank following his seventh career century (110 in the second innings).
He is now 11 points behind fourth-ranked batsman and South Africa captain Hashim Amla.
Meanwhile, there were no changes to the top 10 in the list for Test bowlers.
However, there were improvements for Indian pacer Ishant Sharma, who reached the 200-wicket mark after claiming match figures of 8/86.
As a result, he has moved up three places to 18th.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra’s 3/72 has helped him climb two spots to a career high 37th. Fast bowler Umesh Yadav too has improved upon his ranking and is currently at 42nd.
Sri Lanka trio of Dhammika Prasad (up three places to 22nd), Nuwan Pradeep (up 12 to 57th) and Mathews (up two to 71st) have also all made career-high gains.
ICC Test rankings:
1 South Africa
6 New Zealand
7 Sri Lanka
8 West Indies
1 Steven Smith (Australia)
2 AB de Villiers (South Africa)
3 Joe Root (England)
4 Hashim Amla (South Africa)
5 Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka)
6 Younus Khan (Pakistan)
7 Kane Williamson (New Zealand)
8 David Warner (Australia)
9 Chris Rogers (Australia)
10 Shivnarain Chanderpaul (West Indies)
1 Dale Steyn (South Africa)
2 Stuart Broad (England)
3 Trent Boult (New Zealand)
4 Yasir Shah (Pakistan)
5 James Anderson (England)
6 Mitchell Johnson (Australia)
7 Vernon Philander (South Africa)
8 Ravichandran Ashwin (India)
9 Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)
10 Tim Southee (New Zealand) (IANS)