19 Nov 2015

Williamson has number one spot in sight

6:17 am on 19 November 2015

The Black Caps Kane Williamson and Australia's David Warner have number-one ranked test batsman, South African AB de Villiers, firmly within their sights after achieving career-best rankings following the drawn second test in Perth.

Kane Williamson, Brisbane, 2015.

Kane Williamson Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Williamson has risen three places to join Australia captain Steven Smith in second spot following scores of 166 and 32 not out, while Warner's 253 and 24 have lifted him three places to fifth.

The top five batsmen, four of whom are likely to feature in the third Tests between India and the Proteas in Nagpur and the Black Caps and Australia in Adelaide next week, are now separated by just 19 points with Smith and Williamson trailing de Villiers by six points.

Warner is another 13 points behind.

This means that the battle for the coveted number-one position, post the conclusion of the two series, remains tight as there will be a further re-shuffle at the top of the order depending on how these batsmen perform.

New Zealand's Ross Taylor, who won the player of the match award in the second test at the Waca, has returned to the top 10 for the first time in 12 months.

Taylor scored 290 and 36 not out, for which he has been rewarded with a jump of seven places that has put him in 10th spot.

In the bowling chart, India's left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has achieved a career-best ranking.

Jadeja returned figures of 2-16 and 4-50 in a rain-affected Test against the Proteas, which has lifted him eight places to 13th in the latest rankings.

Jadeja is now the third India bowler to feature inside the top 20 after Ravichandran Ashwin (fifth) and Ishant Sharma (20th).

New Zealand's Doug Bracewell is the other bowler who has improved his rankings.

The right-arm seamer took three wickets in the Perth Test and has now moved up six places to 41st.

South Africa's Dale Steyn has retained his number-one position but has fallen from the 900-point mark for the first time since December 2013 after missing the Bengaluru Test.

He is now on 893 points, still 47 points clear of his nearest rival James Anderson of England.

Meanwhile, Australia's Mitchell Johnson has signed off on his international cricket on a high.

The left-arm fast bowler, who won the ICC Cricketer of the Year awards in 2009 and 2014, has finished in ninth bowling position, 84th batting spot and fifth in all-rounders' category.

In March 2009 he rose to his career-best bowling, batting and all-rounders' rankings of second, 44th and second, respectively.

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