IANS

Veteran middle-order batter Ajinkya Rahane and fast-bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur made gains in the latest ICC Test Rankings, released on Wednesday with Australian batters getting a rare achievement by occupying top three places in batting charts.

Rahane's scores of 89 and 46 in the World Test Championship final against Australia at The Oval, which also saw him make his comeback to the Indian team, see him return to the rankings in 37th position while Thakur, who made 51 in first innings, has moved up six places to 94th position.

In the rare occurrence, Steve Smith and Travis Head join top-ranked Marnus Labuschagne in top three batting positions following their centuries, which helped Australia beat India by 209 runs in the WTC Final.

Labuschagne holds on to his number-one position with 903 rating points. Smith has advanced one place to second position after scores of 121 and 34 while Player of the Match Head's scores of 163 and 18, have lifted him three places to a career-best third position.

The race for the second spot though is very close as Smith is on 885 rating points, Head on 884 and Kane Williamson on 883 rating points. The last time this occurred in the Test batting rankings was in 1984, when West Indies players Gordon Greenidge (810 rating points), Clive Lloyd (787) and Larry Gomes (773) were at the top of the list.

Wicketkeeper-batter Alex Carey has progressed 11 places to 36th after scoring 48 and 66 not out while off-spinner Nathan Lyon (up two places to sixth) and seamer Scott Boland (up five places to 36th) have also moved up after finishing with five wickets each in the match.

Meanwhile, in the men's ODI rankings, UAE batter Vriitya Aravind has moved up seven places to 49th after scoring 36 and 70 against the West Indies in their home series played in Sharjah that the visiting side won 3-0.

Sri Lanka players Pathum Nissanka (up five places to 62nd among batters) and Wanindu Hasaranga (up two places to 28th among bowlers) have also made headway in the latest update after their final match of the series against Afghanistan in Hambantota.

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