India captain Virat Kohli managed to hold on to his second spot on the newly released ICC Test rankings for batsmen, as Australia’s Ashes hero, Steve Smith consolidated his position as the best red-ball batsman in the world.
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With Smith on 937 points, Kohli is well behind him by 34 rating points. Following Kohli are New Zealand captain Kane Williamson on 878 points and India’s Cheteshwar Pujara on 825 points, who had a rather disappointing tour of West Indies.
Apart from former Australia captain Smith, compatriot Pat Cummins has also retained the top spot in the ICC Test bowlers’ rankings. While the 30-year-old batsman has an impressive 64.56 average, the pace bowler bagged 29 wickets in the recently concluded Ashes.
The Ashes culminated with a 135-run victory for England in the fifth and final Test on Sunday. The series ended in a 2-2 draw with Australia retaining the Urn.
Smith’s scores of 80 and 23 in the two innings in the final Test helped him remain at 937 rating points, an incredible effort since he started the series in fourth position with 857 points before his surge that came courtesy 774 runs in just seven innings.
Cummins too is well clear of other bowlers as he enjoys a lead of 57 points over second-placed Kagiso Rabada. India’s Jasprit Bumrah is in third place after his brilliant showing with the ball against West Indies.
Other players from Australia to make notable gains are Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh.
Wade’s fourth Test century has lifted him 32 places to 78th, his highest since being ranked 52nd in March 2013. Marsh’s maiden five-wicket haul has helped him gain 20 places to reach 54th place, his best since March 2017.
David Warner has lost seven places after the Test to finish in 24th position among batsmen. He has slid 19 places during the five matches with a tally of 95 runs in 10 innings, starting the series in fifth position.
For England, fast bowler Jofra Archer has moved into the top 40 for the first time after grabbing six first-innings wickets while left-arm seamer Sam Curran has gained six slots to reach 65th position with three wickets.
Jos Buttler’s scores of 70 and 47 has lifted him back into the world’s top 30 for the first time since January this year while Joe Denly’s career-best score of 94 has taken him to a career-highest 57th place. Rory Burns has also moved up five places to 56th position.
(with PTI inputs)