Smith closes in on Kohli in ICC Test rankings following his epic display in first Ashes Test

Sudhir Gupta 17:51 06/08/2019
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Smith (l) is bearing down on Kohli's neck.

Steve Smith’s heroics in the first 2019 Ashes Test at Birmingham have seen the Australia batsman close down the gap on India star Virat Kohli in the latest ICC Test rankings for batsmen.

Smith registered tons under pressure in each innings of the Edgbaston Test to mark a triumphant return to red-ball cricket with his displays helping Australia crush England by 251 runs in the end.

The right-hander’s scores of 144 and 142 in what was his first Test match in over a year has seen him climb back into the top-three of the rankings. The 46 rating points gained by Smith from his Edgbaston display has seen him leapfrog India’s Cheteshwar Pujara to the No3 spot and he is now only 19 points behind top-ranked Kohli.

Smith was the No1 Test batsman in the world before he was handed a one-year suspension from international cricket following the infamous ball-tampering episode in Newlands last year.

Despite his prolonged absence from the international game, the Aussie has continued to maintain a lofty position in the Test rankings and he can further reduce the gap on Kohli and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson in the coming weeks.

India’s next Test match is slated to begin on August 22 when they lock horns with West Indies in a two-match series. Smith will be in action for Australia in the second Ashes Test against England at Lord’s which gets underway on August 14 and could potentially even reclaim the No1 ranking.

Meanwhile, Australia pacer Pat Cummins has consolidated his position at the top of the bowlers’ rankings following his seven-wicket haul across the two innings at Edgbaston. There were also big gains for Aussie off-spinner Nathan Lyon whose nine wickets in the win have helped him rise to 13th spot in the rankings.

ICC Test Rankings for Batsmen

  1. Virat Kohli – 922 points
  2. Kane Williamson – 913 points
  3. Steve Smith – 903 points
  4. Cheteshwar Pujara – 881 points
  5. Henry Nicholls – 778 points

ICC Test Rankings for Bowlers

  1. Pat Cummins – 898 points
  2. Kagiso Rabada – 851 points
  3. James Anderson – 831 points
  4. Vernon Philader – 813 points
  5. Neil Wagner – 801 points

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