Kohli loses No1 Test ranking for batsmen, Anderson breaches 900-point mark

Sudhir Gupta 13/08/2018
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India captain Virat Kohli lost the No1 ranking for Test batsmen after an ordinary second Test against England in which his team lost by an innings and 159 runs.

Kohli had snatched the top spot from Australia batsman Steve Smith after a sensational match in Birmingham where he scored 200 runs in all. But in the second Test at Lord’s – where he only managed 23 and 17 – against a rampant England pace attack, Kohli slipped down to second position on 919 points – 10 behind Smith.

There was some positive news for Ravi Ashwin the batsman as he moved up from 67th to 57th position after gritty knocks of 29 and 33 not out at Lord’s.

England players, understandably, made huge gains in the points table. James Anderson became only the seventh England bowler and the first in 38 years from his country to cross the 900-point mark in the Test ranking for bowlers after sensational match-figures of 9-43 at the ‘Home of Cricket’.

England’s all-round hero Chris Woakes, who hit an unbeaten 137 and snared four wickets in the match, gained 34 places to reach a career-best 50th position among batsmen. He also jumped three places to be 32nd among bowlers and five places to seventh among all-rounders.

Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow continued his rise in the batting table as another match-winning fifty – 93 at Lord’s after 70 in Birmingham – saw him back to the top-10 in the ninth spot.

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Virat Kohli determined to make third Test against England despite back injury

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Kohli struggled with his back during the second Test.

Virat Kohli missed portions of India‘s innings defeat to England at Lord’s after being forced off the field due to a back niggle, but says he will be fine for the third Test, which starts on Saturday at Trent Bridge.

“The good thing is I have five days before the next Test,” he said. “We are confident that, with rehab and strengthening, I should be ready for the next game although not (with) the same intensity in the field.

“But I should be good enough to hold a position in the field and be 100% with the bat.

“Again, I will have to look at the running bit of things, which was difficult today. As of now it is sore.”

Kohli explained on Sunday that he’d had the same injury in February, missing a T20I in South Africa.

“As of yesterday and today it was not great,” he said. “The back is one thing that can be very tricky when it goes off.

“It happened during the latter half of the last leg of the South Africa tour when I missed a T20I game because that was very sudden. It happened one day before.”

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Steve Waugh and Mohammad Yousuf rate Virat Kohli as best batsman in the world

Sudhir Gupta 10/08/2018
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Legendary Australia captain Steve Waugh and iconic Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf have picked India‘s Virat Kohli as the best batsman in the world.

While Waugh said Kohli has “got the game to survive anywhere” and “the best technique of anyone in world cricket”, Yousuf said the India skipper “has a fast-bowler’s aggression and mentality even though he’s a batsman.”

Speaking to Cricket Australia’s website cricket.com.au, Waugh said in the absence of Steven Smith, Kohli is by far and away the best all-round batsman in the world at the moment.

“He (Kohli) has got the game to survive anywhere, I think he’s got the best technique of anyone in world cricket,” Waugh was quoted as saying.

“He and AB de Villiers have got the best techniques, and AB de Villiers is not playing Test cricket so that makes him (Kohli) the stand-out player. I think Steve Smith is probably the hungriest batsman but he’s obviously not playing for 12 months, so Kohli really is the premier batsman in world cricket.”

According to Waugh, Kohli’s desire to perform at the big stage set him apart.

“And he likes the big occasion. Like (Brian) Lara and Tendulkar and (Viv) Richards and Javed Miandad, and all the great batsmen, they want the big occasion and that brings out the best in their cricket,” Waugh added.

SUPER FITNESS

Meanwhile, former Pakistan batsman Yousuf, in an interview to pakpassion.net said that all batsmen should try to emulate Kohli.

“Virat Kohli is a batsman who I rate very highly. He’s in a different class compared to other batsmen of the modern era. Rohit Sharma, Joe Root, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson are also very high-class batsmen. Whilst these four are a cut above the rest due to their performances and class, it is Virat Kohli who I believe the rest should aim to copy,” Yousuf said.

“He is the complete package when it comes to batting. His aggression is second to none, it’s as though he has a fast bowler’s aggression and mentality even though he’s a batsman. But what really makes him stand out from the rest is his fitness. I have never seen any Asian cricketer achieve the levels of fitness that Virat Kohli has. He’s the world’s top batsman, he has proven his ability, he has been consistent and he has scored all of those runs not through luck, but due to sheer hard work, determination and dedication.

“Look at his record and his statistics and those numbers don’t lie, they confirm what a world-class performer he is. But he has also proved that he is mentally tough, he has confidence in his own ability and it’s very rare that he is out for a low score and that is the mark of a great player.”

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