Virat Kohli sets ICC rankings on fire, Ravichandran Ashwin the new undisputed king

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Following India’s 2-1 series victory over Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, several Indian cricketers, including Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Axar Patel, have made significant strides in the ICC Test rankings. Kohli, in particular, led the way by scoring his first Test century in over three years, which propelled him seven places up to No. 13 on the list.

Previously ranked as the world’s No. 1 batter in all formats, Kohli had slipped out of the top 10 in July of last year due to a string of poor performances. Although he has yet to break into the top 10, his score of 186 in the series bodes well for Indian fans.

Kohli’s leap of seven spots in the ICC Test rankings was a direct result of his outstanding performance as India’s highest run-scorer and the second-highest overall in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023. Despite falling behind Rishabh Pant (ranked 5th) and Rohit Sharma (10th) on the list of top Indian run-scorers, Kohli’s 297 runs in the series, only second to Usman Khawaja, demonstrated his prowess with the bat.

Although Kohli failed to score big in some games, his consistent and free-flowing form throughout the series was evident. In the Delhi Test, he played a crucial knock of 44 runs, which was lauded as one of his best in a long time. Kohli’s 28th Test century after a gap of 1205 days in the series decider showcased his leadership and batting prowess as he anchored the team to take the lead and eventually win the match.

After a fierce competition, Ravichandran Ashwin displaced James Anderson from the top to become the sole No. 1-ranked bowler in ICC Test rankings. Ashwin’s impressive five-wicket-haul in Ahmedabad, which was his 32nd in his career, helped him earn 869 points, putting him 10 points ahead of the legendary English pacer.

With 26 wickets in the series, Ashwin was named the Player of the Series along with his spin partner Ravindra Jadeja. He recorded two 5-wicket-hauls – 5/37 in Nagpur and 6/91 in Ahmedabad – and four 3-wicket-hauls, exhibiting complete dominance throughout the series.

Axar Patel had a remarkable Test series as well, and his contribution with the bat was rewarded with a significant jump in his Test batting rankings. Despite picking up only two wickets, the left-arm spinner scored a total of 264 runs, including three half-centuries. As a result, he moved up eight places to be ranked at 44 on the batting list.

Axar’s career-best innings of 84 in the first Test and his 74-run knock in Delhi were crucial in India’s comprehensive wins. In addition, he also played a vital role in the series-decider at his home ground in Ahmedabad, scoring a remarkable 79 and partnering with Kohli for a mammoth 262-run partnership.

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