Playing his first Test as an opener, Rohit Sharma scored twin hundreds in the Vizag Test against South Africa. IANS

Following his twin hundreds in the first Test of the three-match series against South Africa, Rohit Sharma, on Monday, has moved to his career-best position in ICC Test rankings for batsmen.

Rohit, who was playing his first Test as opener, scored 176 and 127 in the first and second innings in the Vizag Test as India beat the Faf du Plessis-led side by 203 runs to take 1-0 lead in the series.

“India batsman Rohit Sharma, who became the first player to score a century in each innings of his maiden Test as opener, has reached a career-best 17th position in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings,” said the International Cricket Council in a media release.

“Sharma, who slammed three previous centuries in Tests, has gained a whopping 36 slots after his knocks of 176 and 127 in the first Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam helped India win by 203 runs and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series,” added ICC.

While Rohit scored two hundreds in the Test, his fellow opening partner, Mayank Agarwal, who was playing his first Test on the Indian soil, scored his maiden Test ton, scoring 215 in the first innings of the series opener. His efforts with the bat has propelled him to the 25th position in the rankings.

“Other opener Mayank Agarwal has also attained a career-best 25th position after his first innings double-century lifted him 38 places,” said ICC.

Virat Kohli, Indian skipper, meanwhile has dropped below the 900-point mark for the first time since January last year. The right-hander, though, managed to hold the second spot behind Australian Steve Smith, who is topping the chart with 937 points.

“Captain Virat Kohli has dropped below the 900-point mark for the first time since January 2018. He is now on 899 points, 38 behind top-ranked Steve Smith,” ICC said.

Coming to bowlers, R Ashwin, following his eight-wicket haul in the first Test against South Africa, has returned to the top ten. The Indian off-spinner, playing his 66th Test, also equalled Muttiah Muralitharan’s record of fastest 350 wickets.

Mohammed Shami, who scalped five wickets in the South Africa’s second innings, has moved to the 16th spot.

“Among the bowlers, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has made a comeback to the top 10 after his match haul of eight wickets, which included figures of seven for 145 in the first innings. The formerly top-ranked bowler has moved up four places from 14th position and also into the top five among all-rounders,” said ICC.

“Fast bowler Mohammad Shami has reached a career-best 710 points that took him from 18th to 16th, two below his career-best 14th rank, while Ravindra Jadeja has leapfrogged Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan to take second position among all-rounders,” concluded ICC.