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Kohli reaches career-best ranking of 8th in Tests

Virat Kohli

 Owing to his decent performance in the recently-concluded two-Test series against New Zealand

Virat Kohli

Dubai: Owing to his decent performance in the recently-concluded two-Test series against New Zealand, India batsman Virat Kohli on monday rose to his career-best eighth position in the latest ICC Test rankings issued here today.

Kohli, who made 214 runs in four innings in New Zealand, jumped a place to be at eighth with 784 ranking points.

Cheteshwar Pujara is still the highest ranked Indian at seventh position in the batsmen’s list, which is headed by South Africa’s AB de Villiers.

In the bowlers’ table, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has climbed up a spot to be the highest-ranked Indian Test bowler at ninth place.

Ashwin, meanwhile, maintained his top position in the player rankings for Test all-rounders.

Meanwhile, India’s second position in Test rankings is threatened by Australia, who need just a draw against South Africa in the ongoing Test series to move ahead.

A two-Test series loss has resulted in India slipping from 117 ratings points to 112, which means that they are ahead of Australia by just one rating point.

The Aussies now have a great opportunity of finishing ahead of India on the table before the April 1 cut-off date.

South Africa are already guaranteed the number-one position at cut-off date, and will retain the mace and will also collect a cheque of USD 450,000.

The side that finishes second will pocket USD 350,000, while USD 250,000 will go to the third-ranked team.

India seek to rediscover winning touch in Asia Cup

Fatullah (Bangladesh): Humiliated and winless for quite a while, a bruised Indian cricket team would seek to rediscover the lost touch in a five-way battle for regional supremacy when the 12th Asia Cup one-day cricket tournament starts tomorrow.

India were thoroughly embarrassed in their recent trips to South Africa and New Zealand, failing to win a single match in any format.

And now, India are up for another tough challenge when they square off against arch-rivals Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and debutantes Afghanistan in the sub-continent’s premier ODI event.

Captained by Virat Kohli in the absence of an injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India have been a record five-time Asia Cup champions but can hardly be considered favorites this time around given the way they have faltered in recent months.

The struggles in South Africa and New Zealand have laid bare the team’s bowling frailties and the over-reliance on Kohli in the batting department.

The Indians will kick off their campaign on Wednesday with a relatively easy match against hosts Bangladesh here.

But once again, the bestseller of the biennial tournament will be the India-Pakistan marquee match in Mirpur on March 2 when the two traditional foes renew their intense cricketing rivalry.

Pakistan will face Sri Lanka in the tournament-opener here tomorrow.

Without the finishing ability of Dhoni, it will be interesting to see how the new-look middle-order – comprising Ajinkya Rahane, wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik and the classical-mould Cheteshwar Pujara – performs in the slog overs.

After being made the captain as Dhoni’s replacement in a tri-series in the West Indies, Kohli had begun with a loss but since then he has been on a roll with seven straight wins.

That five of the seven wins came against minnows Zimbabwe tells a different story as Kohli will have a completely different challenge this time.


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