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India one win away from reclaiming top spot in Tests

India one win away from reclaiming top spot in Tests

India entered the three-Test series against the Kiwis, trailing Pakistan by one point and needed to win the series to move ahead of its traditional rival.


Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who was the star of Kanpur win, also climbed one place to occupy the second position in the ICC Test Rankings among bowlers.


In Pics: Ravichandran Ashwin's milestone wickets


Ashwin’s match haul of 10 for 225, that helped India notch up a 197-run victory in the first Test against New Zealand on Monday has seen him overtake James Anderson by one point.


He is now within seven points of No. 1 bowler Dale Steyn, who leads the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers with 878 points.


Another strong performance in the Kolkata Test will potentially see Ashwin top the bowling charts for the second time this year. He first claimed the No. 1 position last year following the Boxing Day Tests.


New Zealand captain Kane Williamson also climbed one place to occupy the second position among batsmen. Williamson has edged Joe Root by one point with innings of 75 and 25 to reach 879 points. Australian skipper Steve Smith continues to lead the rankings with 906 points.


Read more: Kohli vs. Williamson: The clash to watch out for in IND vs. NZ Test series


However, to move ahead or get close to Smith, Williamson will have to produce strong performances in the remaining two Tests.


Ashwin also contributed with a useful innings of 40 to consolidate his position at the top of the list of all-rounders. Ashwin has reached a career-best rating of 450, opening up a 66-point gap with second-placed Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan.


There was not much to cheer for other New Zealand batsmen apart from Williamson, but for India, opener Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara made significant gains.


Vijay and Pujara, who became the first Indian pair in 10 years to notch century partnerships in both innings of a Test, moved up from joint 20th position to joint 16th place.


Other Indian batsmen to move up were Lokesh Rahul, who gained five ranks to reach No. 57, and Rohit Sharma, who earned two slots to reach No. 52.

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