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Thursday,04-March-2021

International

Virat Kohli and Rahane slip in ICC Test rankings, Pujara moves up to No. 8

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India’s Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have each dropped down by a spot to number three and seven respectively while Cheteshwar Pujara has made a jump of two places to occupy the eighth place in the latest ICC Test rankings for batsmen.

Pujara played knocks of 50 and 77 in the drawn third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Rahane, on the other hand, scored 22 and 4 at the SCG. Kohli, was not part of the India XI as he had returned to India where he welcomed his baby girl with wife Anushka Sharma on Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant’s scores of 36 and 97 have also helped him gain 19 places to reach 26th position. Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin too have gained after their fighting knocks, as has Shubman Gill.

Prolific Australian batsman Steve Smith has leapfrogged Kohli to second position after scores of 131 and 81 in the Sydney Test.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson sits at the top with 919 rating points, the highest-ever attained by a Black Caps batsman.

In the list of bowlers, Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah have both gone down and currently occupy the ninth and tenth positions respectively. The rankings, currently topped by Pat Cummins, has seen Josh Hazlewood gain three places to reach fifth position with four wickets in the third Test against India.

The fourth and final Test between Australia and India will begin from Friday in Brisbane.

International

Rohit Sharma and Bumrah lose one spot each in ICC T20I rankings

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India batsman Rohit Sharma and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah each went down a place in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) T20I rankings for batsmen and bowlers, respectively.

While Sharma is now 14th from 13th, Bumrah went down to 16th from 15th in the updated rankings that was released on Wednesday.

Sharma and Bumrah’s moves down the rankings was because of New Zealand’s Martin Guptill and Australia’s Jhye Richardson moving up due to their performances in the five-match T20I series between the two sides. Kiwi opener Guptill, who missed out on a century in the first T20I by three runs, gained three slots to reach 11th. Richardson replaced Bumrah in 15th place.

Meanwhile, India captain Virat Kohli (6th) and opener KL Rahul (2nd) maintained their positions on the table.

New Zealand’s Devon Conway’s 99 not out in the Christchurch opener has helped him gain 46 spots and reach 17th position after just eight matches.

Glenn Philips and James Neesham have moved up in the list for batsmen while Tim Southee (up one place to sixth), Mitchell Santner (up two places to seventh), Ish Sodhi (up three places to 11th) and Trent Boult (up 24 places to 49th) have progressed in the bowlers’ list.

For Australia, Marcus Stoinis’ knock of 78 in the second match sees him gain 77 places to reach 110th position along with Matthew Wade, who is up from 132nd to 118th.

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International

1st Test: Afghanistan reduced to 49/6 at tea

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Afghanistan were left staring at an innings defeat after being reduced to 49/6 at tea on the second day of the first Test against Zimbabwe at the Shaikh Zayed Stadium. Zimbabwe continued to exploit the seam-friendly conditions as fast bowlers Blessing Muzarabani and Victory Nyauchi took two and three wickets, respectively.

Opener Ibrahim Zadran remained not out in 23 off 56 balls while his team mates fell around him. The only partnership of the innings before tea that crossed over into a two-digits was a 26-run stand between Zadran and Aghanistan captain Asghar Afghan.

Earlier, Sean Williams became the third Zimbabwean Test captain to score a century in Asia after Tatenda Taibu and Craig Ervine. Williams scored 105 off 174 balls, his third century in Test cricket, as his team put up 250 runs in reply to Afghanistan’s 131 all out in the first innings.

Afghanistan spinner Amir Hamza, meanwhile took six wickets as Zimbabwe ended their innings with a lead of 119 runs.

Brief score: Afghanistan 131 & 49/6 (Ibrahim Zadran 26 batting; Blessing Muzarabani 2/7, Victor Nyauchi 3/14) vs Zimbabwe 250 all out (Sean Williams 105, Regis Chakabva 44; Amir Hamza 6/75)

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Novak Djokovic equals Roger Federer for most weeks as world no. 1

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Novak Djokovic has tied Roger Federer’s all-time record for the most weeks at the top of the men’s tennis rankings.

Djokovic on Monday entered his 310th week at the top of the ATP rankings. The 33-year-old Serbian reclaimed the top spot from Spain’s Rafael Nadal in February 2020.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion grabbed his ninth Australian Open title last month, which ensured he will surpass Federer’s record next week.

Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have dominated men’s singles tennis, particularly the Grand Slams, for nearly two decades.

From the 2003 Wimbledon to the 2021 Australian Open, the three players have won 58 out of 70 Grand Slams. They won 18 consecutive slams from the 2005 French Open to Wimbledon in 2009, and 13 consecutive slams from the 2017 Australian Open to the 2020 Australian Open.

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