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An impressive performance in the third Test against the West Indies lifted Indian middle order mainstay Ajinkya Rahane to his career-best eighth spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings, released on Monday.

Rahane, who went into the Test at joint 11th spot with Pakistani veteran Younus Khan, scored 35 and 78 not out to guide India to a 237-run win over the hosts at St. Lucia. With the win, India also took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

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David Warner took the attack to the South African pace bowlers for the first two sessions of play and then Michael Clarke made his first substantial batting contribution of the series to give Australia the best possible start to the third Sunfoil Test match at Sahara Park Newlands on Saturday.

By the close the Australians had amassed a total of 331/3 off the 88 overs that were possible as their run rate hovered around the four to the over mark throughout the day with Clarke (92 off 181 balls, 9 fours) and Steve Smith (50 off 92 balls, 6 fours and a six) having added an unbroken 114 for the fourth wicket to add to the successive partnerships of 65, 73 and 79 for the three previous wickets.

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Cricket Australia announced today that all-rounder James Faulkner has been ruled out of Australia’s Test Tour of South Africa with a right knee injury and will undergo arthroscopic surgery in Melbourne later today.

He will be replaced in the touring Test squad by New South Wales all-rounder Moises Henriques, while South Australian Kane Richardson has been drafted in to take his place in Australia’s squad for the KFC T20 Internationals against England, beginning in Hobart tomorrow night (29 January).

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England have nothing but pride at stake as they face Australia in the fourth test match of the 2013-14 Ashes series, which will begin this Thursday, 26 December.

Australia regained the Ashes which they lost to England earlier this year making this year's Boxing Day Test Match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne a dead rubber.

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The Cricket Australia (CA) National Selection Panel (NSP) has today advised that Doug Bollinger and Nathan Coulter-Nile have been placed on stand-by for the Perth Commonwealth Bank Ashes Test and will be withdrawn from selection in the upcoming round of BUPA Sheffield Shield starting on Sunday.

National Selector John Inverarity said: “We hope the fitness and form of current squad members leads to us having the same 12 for the Perth Test. However, to ensure we are well prepared, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Doug Bollinger have been placed on standby for the Perth Test which is to start on Friday 13 December. Nathan and Doug will not be available to play for Western Australia and New South Wales respectively in the upcoming round of Sheffield Shield fixtures, Sunday to Wednesday, 8 – 11 December. Nathan lives in Perth while Doug will head to Perth early next week to be ready should he be required for selection.”


India has gained a place on the ICC Test Team Rankings table after winning the two-Test series against the West Indies 2-0. India had started the series in third position and a 2-0 win has put it in second position. This sets up an interesting two-Test series between number-one ranked South Africa and India to be played next month in Johannesburg and Durban.

India had needed to win the series to move up the ICC Test Team Rankings table. India’s innings and 126 runs win in the second and final Test has helped it gain three ratings points to end at 119 ratings points, three ratings points ahead of England, which faces fifth-ranked Australia in the five-Test series in Brisbane from 21 November.

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Several legends of West Indies Cricket have hailed left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul as he prepares to play what will be a West Indies record 150th Test match.

Three West Indies batting greats – Sir Everton Weekes, Rohan Kanhai and Desmond Haynes – applauded Chanderpaul and urged him to celebrate the occasion. The match will be played against India at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and will also be the 200th and final Test match for India’s batting great Sachin Tendulkar.

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