It has taken just three innings for Steve Smith to reaffirm his Test credentials with the Australian batsman leapfrogging Kane Williamson to the second spot in the latest ICC rankings released on Monday.
The 29-year-old is now just nine rating points behind the top-ranked Virat Kohli of India despite spending 12 months out of the international game due to his suspension for ball-tampering.
Smith registered twin tons in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston to mark his return to the format after a one-year absence before scoring a crucial 92 in the first innings of the recently concluded Lord’s Test.
The Aussie was struck on the neck by a viscous Jofra Archer-bouncer during that knock before being withdrawn from the Test due to a concussion but the 378 runs registered by him in the three innings since his return were enough for him to overtake Williamson in the latest ICC rankings.
Williamson was dismissed for a duck and four runs in his two innings at Galle and that performance has seen the New Zealand skipper take a big hit in his rating points.
While Smith has risen from the third to second spot, England skipper Joe Root has dropped down to ninth place (from sixth) after registering scores of 14 and a duck in the Lord’s Test against Australia.
Smith, Kohli and Williamson could all be in action in the coming week in three separate Test clashes around the globe and that is set to add some spice to the race for the No1 spot.
In the bowling department, Australia pacer Pat Cummins has consolidated his grip on the top of the rankings after his match-haul of six wickets at Lord’s. The 914 rating points for Cummins are the highest-ever accumulated by any Australian bowler in history and puts him level with the legendary Glenn McGrath.
England pacer Jofra Archer’s fearsome debut at Lord’s has seem him enter the ICC rankings for the first time at 83rd spot.
ICC Test Rankings for Batsman (Top three)
ICC Test Rankings for Bowlers (Top three)
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