India captain Virat Kohli and South Africa’s tearaway pacer Kagiso Rabada maintained their top spots in the ICC Test Player Rankings at the end of 2018. While Kohli enjoys a 34-point lead over nearest rival Kane Williamson, Rabada is just six points ahead of second-placed England’s James Anderson.
Kohli attained a career-high 937 points during the year, highest ever by an India batsman. He scored 1322 runs throughout the same period. Kohli’s compatriot Cheteshwar Pujara has also maintained his fourth position after a first-innings century in Melbourne.
Debutant opener Mayank Agarwal has also entered the batsmen’s list at an impressive 67th place after scores of 76 and 42 helped his side win by 137 runs for a 2-1 lead in the four-match series. Jasprit Bumrah has moved from 28th to 12th after his match haul of nine for 86, the best-ever by an India seam bowler in Australia.
Fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Pat Cummins climbed up to 16th and 3rd position respectively in the Test Player Rankings for bowlers courtesy their nine-wicket hauls in the Boxing Day Test. Bumrah, who jumped a whopping 12 spots, along with Cummins has now achieved their career-high rankings.
Rabada, who became the youngest to take top position among bowlers during the year and held the spot for 178 days during the year, grabbed six wickets in the opening match at Centurion that South Africa won by six wickets to finish with 52 wickets in 10 Tests in 2018.
Pakistan’s Babar Azam has gained nine slots to reach 27th position after innings of 71 and six while left-arm fast bowlers Mohammad Amir (up two places to 34th) and Shaheen Afridi (up 38 places to 73rd) have advanced after taking four and five wickets in Centurion.
Meanwhile, New Zealand have leapfrogged South Africa to take third place in the ICC Test Team Rankings after starting the series against Sri Lanka with a chance of going up to the second position with a 2-0 win.
(With inputs from PTI)