What : Smith and Ashwin finish 2015 as number-one ranked batsman and bowler
Who : Announced by ICC
When : 31st December 2015
Ravichandran Ashwin of India and Australia captain Steve Smith have finished 2015 as the number-one ranked bowler and batsman respectively in the ICC Test Player Rankings. The rankings were released on 31st December 2015 following the conclusion of the Boxing Day Tests in Durban and Melbourne.
Ashwin has achieved the number-one spot for first time in his career after injury prevented Dale Steyn from bowling more than 3.5 overs in England’s second innings.Even though the fast bowler bagged four wickets in the first innings, these were not enough for him to end the year as the number-one ranked bowler for the sixth time since 2009.
Smith, who last week won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Cricketer of the Year as well as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year award, had entered the Melbourne Test in fourth position. However, after scoring 134 not out and 70 not out, the 26-year-old has leapfrogged Kane Williamson of New Zealand, England’s Joe Root and AB de Villiers of South Africa into the top spot.
- Smith was also named in the ICC Test and ODI Teams of the Year.
- He is the third Australia batsman in the last decade after Ricky Ponting (2005 and 2006) and Michael Clarke (2012) to finish the year as the number-one ranked batsman.
- Other batsmen since 2005 to finish the year as the top batsman are Kumar Sangakkara (2007, 2010 and 2011), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (2008), Gautam Gambhir (2009) and de Villiers (2013 and 2014).
- Smith also finished 2015 as the leading run-scorer with 1,474 runs.
- In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Ashwin has become the first India bowler since Bishen Bedi in 1973 to achieve the milestone of finishing the year in number-one Test position.
- Ashwin has finished 2015 as the most successful bowler with 62 wickets in nine Tests.