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Ashwin equals Muralitharan’s record to being fastest to 350 Test wickets

RAVICHANDRAN  Ashwin is back in the top ten for Test bowlers in the ICC rankings after his match haul of eight wickets in his first international match in 2019, the first Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam.

Rohit Sharma, who marked his Test opening debut with twin hundreds, vaulted 36 places to a career-high 17th while his captain Virat Kohli had his points drop below 900. Steven Smith continues to lead the Test batting rankings with 937 points, opening up a 38-point lead over Kohli.

During the Test, Ashwin also became the joint-fastest to 350 Test wickets along with Muttiah Muralitharan. The triumphant return has helped him move from 14th place to tenth among bowlers.

Rohit also enjoyed a productive Test, setting several records as a Test opener. Notably, he hit 13 sixes, the most by a batsman in a Test match. Mayank Agarwal, Rohit’s opening partner who converted his maiden Test hundred into a double-century, jumped from 63rd place to 25th. Ajinkya Rahane, meanwhile, dropped three places to tenth.

Among the South Africans, Quinton de Kock, who made 111 in the first innings in Visakhapatnam, broke into the top ten, claiming seventh place ahead of openers Tom Latham, Dimuth Karunaratne and Rahane. Opener Dean Elgar also gained five places and made it to 14th, having struck 160 in a big partnership with de Kock in the first innings.

Mohammed Shami, who enhanced his reputation as a second-innings specialist, moved up two places to 16th, achieving a career-high 710 points on the table led by Australia’s Pat Cummins.

Ashwin broke into the top five among allrounders too, while Ravindra Jadeja has gone past Shakib Al Hasan to the second spot. West Indies’ Jason Holder tops the rankings with 472 points.

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