Bhuvneshwar Kumar came up as one of the strongest attacks of team India against South Africa in the recently concluded first match of the Test series. Bowlers dominated the match in both the innings, while Kumar finished with six wickets in two innings. This scaled the player’s ranking in the ICC Test bowler charts to eight places ahead. The recent chart put Kumar at 22 in Test bowler’s rank, which is his career-best in the format. Meanwhile, another top bowler of India Jasprit Bumrah was handed the Test cap in the match. The ODI star bowler marked his form in the longest format picking several wickets.
Despite a strong performance of bowlers, India could not come out victorious remaining marginal against South Africa’s attack. Vernon Philander emerged as the disastrous attacker in the match thumping down India batsmen. In an after-match Interview, India skipper Virat Kohli worriedly commented: it’s not possible to win a test if wickets fall in batches. Only Hardik Pandya knocked a 90 plus score in the match, while, there were a couple of half centuries. South Africa’s win by 72 runs had a fairly good support from batsmen, but bowlers stole the show.
India’s slackened batting form was apparent in the recent ICC test ranking that slipped Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara to third and fifth respectively. Kohli was second in the chart, which is now occupied by England Captain Joe Root. Pujara’s ranking was slogged by 25 points. Other India batsmen on the chart also lost their positions. M Vijay slipped from 25 to 30, followed by Shikar Dhawan at 33. Rohit Sharma dropped three ranks back taking the new spot at 44.
Aussie captain Steven Smith remained unchallenged as the top ICC Test batsman. He has an aggregate of 947 points. Joe Root, England captain, is now behind him earning 26 points lately. All-rounders Shakib Al Hasan, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin remains unchanged in their ranks.
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