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Virat Kohli ends 2018 as top-ranked player

Cheteshwar Pujara maintains his fourth position while Jasprit Bumrah jumps to 12 spot
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 30: Virat Kohli of India reacts after the dismissal of Pat Cummins of Australia  during day five of the Third Test match in the series between Australia and India at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 30, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

India captain Virat Kohli and South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada have maintained their top positions in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings at the year-end after 2018 saw them achieve several milestones including from the rankings perspective.

Virat dropped three points despite a first innings score of 82 in the third Test in Melbourne, but still enjoys a 34-point lead over Kane Williamson. Virat, who attained a career-high 937 points during the year, which is the highest ever by an India batsman, scored 1322 runs in all. Virat overtook Steven Smith in August and has now held the top position for 135 days.

Virat’s compatriot Cheteshwar Pujara has maintained fourth position after a first-innings century in Melbourne, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant has gained 10 slots to reach a career-best 38th position while debutant opener Mayank Agarwal has entered the batsmen’s list at an impressive 67th place after scores of 76 and 42 helped his side win by 137 runs for a 2-1 lead in the four-match series,

Jasprit Bumrah has moved from 28th to 12th after his match haul of nine for 86, the best-ever by an India seam bowler in Australia. He is now the highest-ranked India fast bowler in the format with Mohammed Shami next in 23rd position.

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Virat Kohli consolidates his position at the top

Fast bowlers Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah also move up in the list for bowlers.
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 15: Virat Kohli of India raises his bat to Indian supporters after reaching his half century during day two of the second match in the Test series between Australia and India at Perth Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane - CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

Captains Virat Kohli of India and Kane Williamson of New Zealand have consolidated their positions in the ICC Rankings for Batsmen, even as Tom Latham, Angelo Mathews and Nathan Lyon have made considerable gains in the latest rankings update carried out on Thursday.

Top-ranked Virat has gained 14 points to reach 934 points after a valiant first-innings knock of 123 in the second Test at Perth which Australia won by 146 runs on Tuesday to draw level at 1-1 in the four-match series. Kohli has thus increased his lead over Williamson from seven to 19 points.

However, second-ranked Williamson too has something to cheer about after scoring 91 in the drawn first of two Tests against Sri Lanka, which ended in Wellington on Wednesday. He has reached a personal best of 915 points, the joint-25th highest ever and equal with ICC Hall of Famer George Headley of the West Indies.

For India, apart from Virat, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (up two places to 15th) and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant (up 11 places to a career-best 48th) have also moved up among batsmen while fast bowlers Mohammad Shami (up two places to 24th) and Jasprit Bumrah (up five places to a career-best 28th) have advanced in the list for bowlers.

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