Kohli rises to No2 in the ICC Test rankings after extraordinary series against Sri Lanka

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Kohli scored 610 runs in five innings in the Sri Lanka series.

Following his remarkable series with the bat against Sri Lanka, India’s Virat Kohli has made a huge jump in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen.

The 29-year-old has risen from the sixth spot to now occupy the No.2 position in the rankings behind Australian skipper Steve Smith.

Kohli score a stupendous 610 runs in five innings in the three-match series at a staggering average of 152.50 to take the man-of-the-series award. He had recorded back-to-back double tons in India’s 1-0 win to overtake Brian Lara’s record of five double tons as Test skipper.

No other Indian batsmen apart from the legendary Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag have more than Kohli’s six double hundreds in the format.

The Indian skipper is already perched at the top spot in ICC’s rankings for the ODI and T20I batsmen.

The Delhi-born man has had a dream 2017 with the bat where he has scored 2,818 runs in international cricket with the help of 11 tons across all formats.

The Indian batsman now lies ahead of his English counterpart Joe Root in the Test rankings with team-mate Cheteshwar Pujara maintaining his fourth spot.

Kohli now has 893 ranking points, 45 behind Smith who has 938 points. He leapfrogged David Warner, Kane Williamson, Pujara and Root in the course of the series.

Only former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has held the top spots in all formats simultaneously in the history of the game while his compatriot Mathew Hayden has done it on separate occasions.

Kohli has never taken the No.1 spot in the Test rankings in his career so far.

India meanwhile continue to lead the team rankings with 124 points, 13 ahead of South Africa whom they visit for a bilateral series at the end of the year.

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Indian Medical Association urges organisers to take pollution into consideration

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The IMA said it was greatly troubled by the scenes in the final Test at Delhi.

Cricket organisers must take pollution into account before allowing matches to go ahead, the Indian Medical Association told the country’s governing body for the sport Thursday, after a smog-plagued Test match in New Delhi.

The IMA said in a letter to the Indian cricket board it was “greatly troubled” by scenes of players wearing masks to protect themselves from air pollution many times the global safe limit during the third test match between India and Sri Lanka in New Delhi.

Two players vomited on the pitch, and play had to be halted briefly.

“Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of lung and heart disease and may precipitate an acute potentially life-threatening event,” it said in a letter to the Board of Control for cricket in India (BCCI) seen by AFP.

“When pollution levels are this high, everyone including healthy persons may experience some level of discomfort,” said the letter, signed by IMA president K.K. Aggarwal.

Pollution should be taken into account before allowing play to proceed in much the same way as for rain and poor light, he added.

The BCCI said after this week’s debacle at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium that the Indian capital could be dropped as a venue during winter, when pollution levels tend to spike.

Two players vomited on the pitch due to the discomfort.

Two players vomited on the pitch due to the discomfort.

“The BCCI has been sensitive on the smog and fog matter over the years,” the board secretary Amitabh Choudhary said.

Copies of the IMA’s letter were also sent to India’s chief justice and the International cricket Council (ICC), which would have to approve any such changes.

Sri Lanka have made no official complaint but their coach Nic Pothas said earlier it wasn’t normal for players to suffer in that way.

“I think it’s the first time that everybody has come across that situation,” he said after the first smoggy day’s play.

“There aren’t too many rules regarding pollution.”

Provided by AFP Sport

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More records for Kohli: Talking points from India's series win over Sri Lanka

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India clinched their ninth successive Test series win – equalling Australia’s all-time record – after the drawn third and final match against Sri Lanka in New Delhi on Wednesday.

AFP Sport highlights five talking points from the three-match series.

SMOGGY HORROR SHOW

Sri Lankan players wore face masks to combat severe pollution during the smog-shrouded five-day game, which saw fast bowlers Suranga Lakmal and Mohammed Shami vomiting on the ground, apparently after inhaling the noxious air.

Doctors slammed cricket authorities for putting players’ health at risk, and although play was halted for about 20 minutes on day two, the game resumed.

The fiasco could prove to be a death knell for Delhi as a Test venue at least during winter, when the capital’s air pollution is at its worst.

Sri Lankan team with masks on

MORE RECORDS FOR KING KOHLI

Man of the series Virat Kohli plundered runs and records in all three matches. Nicknamed King Kohli, the prolific batsman is in the form of his life, hitting two double centuries in the series including a career-best 243 in Delhi.

He became the first player to score six Test double tons as captain, surpassing West Indies great Brian Lara. Accumulating 610 runs in three matches at an average of 152.50, Kohli said “self-belief” had been key to his success.

“It was a kind of a revelation that I can play in Tests the way I can do in ODIs… if you can believe in yourself, you can achieve anything in any format,” he said.

INDIA TARGET PERFECT 10

India appear well-equipped to chase a record 10th successive Test series triumph during their South Africa tour starting January – particularly given the strong form of their fast bowlers.

While spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja topped the bowling charts in the Sri Lanka series, pacemen Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma were lauded for their performances on a lifeless Delhi pitch.

Earlier Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed eight wickets in the opener in Kolkata. “Shami and Ishant’s (bowling) rhythm was excellent and they were a revelation,” said India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun.

India Champions

SRI LANKA CHAOS CONTINUES

A selection drama back home even while the Delhi Test was still in progress highlighted the chaos gripping Sri Lankan cricket.

The island’s sports minister stopped nine cricketers from flying out to India to take part in the upcoming one-day series – Dayasiri Jayasekera, who once called the Sri Lankan players fat following failed fitness tests, was apparently unhappy with the choice of the team.

Thisara Perera’s side was finally cleared to travel.

Dayasiri Jayasekera

BITTERSEET FOR CHANDIMAL

Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal rounded off his series with a century in Delhi – but immediately learned he will play no part in the one-day matches.

Chandimal himself put on a brave face, saying: “I got enough matches in ODIs against Pakistan and I didn’t perform well … This period (outside the team) I will use to become a good ODI player.”

But for many others the omission simply proved he is the latest victim of whimsical changes intended to rejuvenate the team’s dipping limited-overs fortunes.

Dinesh Chandimal 2

Provided by AFP Sport

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