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Bumrah becomes first Indian pacer to top Test bowling rankings

 VB  Desk

VB Desk

Wed, 7 Feb 24

Jasprit Bumrah has become the first India quick to reach the top spot in the ICC's Test bowlers' rankings. Bumrah, who climbed three places to be ranked No. 1, replaces his team-mate R Ashwin in the position. Before this, his highest ranking had been No. 3.

The previous highest ranking achieved by an India fast bowler was No. 2 - on the retrospective Test bowlers' table - by Kapil Dev from December 1979 to February 1980. Apart from Bumrah, Zaheer Khan has also occupied the No. 3 spot, in October-November 2010.

Bumrah's rise follows a match haul of 9 for 91 in the second Test against England in Visakhapatnam, where he was named Player of the Match as India levelled the series 1-1. Six of those wickets came in the first innings, when he picked up his tenth five-for in only his 34th Test, a match he finished as the fastest Indian to 150 Test wickets.

He put India on top with a spell of two-way reverse swing, getting Joe Root to edge to slip before cleaning Ollie Pope up with a searing inswinging yorker to dismantle both middle and leg stumps. He later dismissed Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes to give India a 143-run first-innings lead.

Bumrah also had an impact in the second innings, where he picked up 3 for 46. With Ben Foakes and Tom Hartley threatening to keep England alive in their chase of 399, Bumrah had Foakes caught-and-bowled, foxing him with a slower offcutter.

Bumrah is currently the leading wicket-taker in the series, with 15 strikes at 10.67. He picked up six wickets in the first Test in Hyderabad, which India lost by 28 runs.

Meanwhile, India opener Yashasvi Jaiswal also made big gains among Test batters. Jaiswal raced up 37 places to No. 29 following a career-best knock of 209 in Visakhapatnam. His England counterpart Zak Crawley also had a good Test, scoring 76 and 73 to climb eight spots to No. 22.

Kane Williamson continues to occupy the top spot among Test batters, having cracked 118 and 109 in the first Test against South Africa in Mount Maunganui.

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