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Rahane, Mishra climb to career best 20th and 39th spots in rankings 

Dubai, Aug 25 (IANS) Following his 126 against Sri Lanka in the just-concluded second Test against Sri Lanka, Indian Ajinkya Rahane gained two places to a career-best 20th spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings, while leg-spinner Amit Mishra with a match haul of seven for 72 moved up 42 places to a career-high 39th.

India beat hosts Sri Lanka by 278 runs in the second Test to level the three-match series 1-1.

Other India batsmen Lokesh Rahul went up 30 places to 87th and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha was up 15 places to the 100th spot.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s match tally of seven for 118 in Colombo helped the spinner overtake Rangana Herath into eighth place on 769 points, one point behind South Africa’s Vernon Philander.

Ashwin also gained ground on Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan in Test all-rounders rankings and has reduced the deficit on the leader to 43 points.

The deciding third and final Test between Sri Lanka and India starts at Colombo on Friday.

If India win the series 2-1, they will overtake New Zealand and move into fifth place. However, a Sri Lanka series victory would see them progress to 96 points and overtake India into sixth place. In case of a 1-1 tied series, Virat Kohli’s side would remain in sixth place, four points clear of Mathews’ men.

On the other hand, Australia batsman Steven Smith reclaimed the top spot in the Test rankings.

The incoming Australia captain started the Ashes series at the top of the rankings on 913 points, but had lost his place to England’s Joe Root after the Trent Bridge Test.

However, after scoring 143 in his side’s an innings and 46 runs victory at the Oval, the 26-year-old has overtaken second-placed AB de Villiers, as well as Root, who has dropped to third following scores of six and 11.

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