Australia captain Pat Cummins has been leapfrogged by Jasprit Bumrah in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Test bowling rankings, with the India star becoming the first fast bowler from the cricket-mad powerhouse to take top spot. Bumrah's historic rise to become the No.1 Test bowler in world comes after his man-of-the-match display for India in the second Test against England.
Bumrah destroyed England in their first innings in Visakhapatnam, picking up the tenth-five wicket haul of his Test career, before finishing with match figures of 9-91 in the 106-run win. Bumrah's clinical display of swing bowling saw him pick up six first innings wickets and included one of the deliveries of the year as he clean-bowled Ollie Pope with a searing inswinging yorker.
The India quick is the leading wicket-taker in the series after taking 15 scalps at 10.67 and becoming the fastest player from his country to 150 Test wickets, having played just 34 Tests. Bumrah has climbed three places in the latest ICC Test rankings to take over top spot from teammate Ravi Ashwin, becoming the first quick from India to hold top spot.
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 7, 2024
India legend Kapil Dev was previously the highest-ranked India quick after holding the No.2 spot from December 1979 to February 1980. Ashwin has slipped down to third spot behind Ashwin in the latest rankings, with Cummins only coming in at fourth, despite enjoying one of the best Aussie summers of his Test career.
Pat Cummins ranked 4th despite incredible Test summer
Cummins has been in devastating form for Australia in Test series against Pakistan and the West Indies this summer, with the skipper becoming the first man in 32 years to take a Boxing Day 10-wicket haul. Cummins passed 250 career wickets in Test cricket after taking figures of 5-48 in the first innings and 5-49 in the second to help Australia to a 79-run victory against Pakistan.
He followed it up with another five-wicket haul in the Sydney Test and was named player of the series and the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for December. Cummins went into the second Test against the West Indies at the Gabba - famously won by the tourists - with 23 wickets at 11.69 - the lowest bowling average for an Australian in a home Test summer since 1931/32 (minimum 20 wickets).
The Aussie skipper endured a rare lean spell in Brisbane as the West Indies pulled off one of the great upsets in Test cricket, taking 1-76 in the first innings before going wicketless in the second innings. It perhaps goes some way to explaining why the Aussie skipper isn't higher in the Test rankings, with Bumrah taking full advantage.
The India quick is a doubt for his side's crucial third Test against England, with reports the home side are considering resting him due to workload concerns. There is a 10-day gap between the second and third Tests but India are reportedly mindful about Bumrah after his return from back surgery last year.
The Indians could be dealt a double blow amid reports Virat Kohli will miss a third straight match after withdrawing from the previous two due to personal reasons. India's cricket board, the BCCI, has yet to confirm Kohl's absence, with reports in India suggesting he could also miss the fourth and fifth Tests and play no part in the series.
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