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DUBAI: James Anderson has become only the seventh England bowler and the first in 38 years from his country to breach the 900-point mark in the ICC Test Player Rankings after an excellent performance in the second Test against India at Lord’s, which his side won by an innings and 159 runs on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Anderson’s outstanding match figures of nine for 43 have enabled him to reach 903 points and join a select group comprising Sydney Barnes (932), George Lohmann (931), Tony Lock (912), Ian Botham (911), Derek Underwood (907) and Alec Bedser (903), all of whom peaked at over 900 points during their careers.

Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Tests with 553 scalps and the only one to claim 100 Test wickets at Lord’s, is the first England bowler to breach the coveted mark since Botham touched 900 points in August 1980. Anderson now leads second-placed South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada by 21 points in the bowlers’ list.

Another one to make a mark in the Lord’s Test and whose performances reflect strongly in the latest rankings update is man-of-the-match Chris Woakes, whose splendid century and useful bowling efforts see him move up all three charts — for batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders.

Woakes, who slammed an unbeaten 137 in England’s only innings and chipped in with four wickets in the match, has gained 34 places to reach a career-best 50th position among batsmen while also moving up three places to 32nd among bowlers and by five places to seventh among all-rounders.

Another England player to catch the eye in the latest rankings is wicket-keeper/batsman Jonny Bairstow, whose 93-run knock has lifted him back to the top 10, in ninth place. Stuart Broad (up one place to 12th) among bowlers, and batsmen Jos Buttler (up one place to 69th) and Ollie Pope (125th), have also done well with regard to rankings.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli has conceded the top spot for batsmen just over a week after overtaking Steve Smith, failing to lift his team out of difficult situations in the Lord’s Test. The India captain played knocks of 23 and 17 even as his side succumbed for 107 and 130.

The low scores and one-sided loss have led to a fall in rankings for most India players with Ravichandran Ashwin the notable exception, moving up in the list for batsmen from 67th to 57th, with defiant innings of 29 and 33 not out. Ashwin has also leapfrogged South Africa’s Vernon Philander to grab the third position among all-rounders.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya has moved up 25 places to take 74th spot among bowlers.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2018