Pat Cummins’ four-year reign at the top of the ICC rankings for test bowlers is over. He has been deposed by England’s Jimmy Anderson, who has become the oldest man to occupy the top spot for almost 77 years.
It is the sixth time that the England veteran has claimed the number one spot, a tribute to his longevity and continued ability to take wickets.
With Ravichandran Ashwin having also risen above him, Cummins has now dropped to third.
Cummins is now the Australian test captain, acceding to the role when Tim Paine was forced to step down following allegations about his private life. He has taken 214 wickets in 47 tests at an average of 21.25, and he has best test figures of 6/23.
However, like most of the Australian team, he has struggled during the recent tour of India and they have lost both tests so far inside three days.
He took only two wickets in the first match in Nagpur, and just one in the second in Delhi. Although in mitigation, it should be pointed out that the pitches were much more suited to spin than pace bowling.
Despite the fact that he will be 41 this summer, England’s Jimmy Anderson is not yet ready to hang up his spikes.
Already the third most successful test bowler of all time – and the pace bowler who has the most wickets with 682 – he has returned to the top of the rankings after taking 7 – 54 in England’s big win over New Zealand in Tauranga.
And during that match, he set another milestone as well. Alongside Stuart Broad, he became the most potent bowling partnership in the history of test cricket, surpassing the record previously held by the Australian duo of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.
They will be looking to extend their successful partnership further when the Second Test against New Zealand begins in Wellington.
This is the sixth time in all that Anderson has topped the ICC rankings, but the first since 2018.
The oldest man to hold the number one spot remains though Australian leg spinner, who was 44 in 1935 when he enjoyed the status.
In all, he played 37 tests for Australia, a number that would have been higher had not had to wait until the age of 32 before making his international debut.
He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1931, an honour he shared with Don Bradman.
Also moving up the current list is Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who has taken 14 wickets so far in the first two tests against Australia, although he had to concede Player of the match honours in Delhi to his spin partner Ravichandran Ashwin.
He now has taken 460 wickets in 89 tests and is currently just one wicket behind Australia’s Nathan Lyon. Both will be looking to add to their respective hauls when the Third Test gets underway in Indore next week.
Another good performance there could see him supplant Anderson, because they are only separated by two points.
Ashwin is now ninth on the all-time list and the second most successful Indian when it comes to test wickets. However, he still has a long way to go before matching the achievements of Anil Kumble.
He took 619 wickets for India in his career and is currently fourth on the all-time list, although Broad may yet surpass him.
Other Indian representation
Despite not having played for six months and more as he continues to suffer from his bad back, Jasprit Bumrah remains fifth in the test rankings.
There were initially hopes that he could play some part in the test series against Australia, but they proved too optimistic and no firm date for his return has yet been set.
India will want him fit for the WTC Final against Australia, though, because they know they are not going to find such spin friendly conditions when the two sides meet at the Oval in June.
Meanwhile, Jadeja is ninth on the list, having made a triumphant return to international cricket after his own injury-enforced break.
Like Ashwin, he will be licking his lips at the thought of inflicting more damage to the morale of the Australian batters in Indore.
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