Steve Smith had to miss the third Ashes Test at Headingley due to a concussion injury but that has not stopped the Australia batsman from reclaiming the No1 ICC Test ranking from India skipper Virat Kohli.
Smith was six rating points behind Kohli in the last ranking update but the India batsman’s dismissal for a golden duck in the second innings against West Indies at Jamaica in the second Test has proven to be costly.
Kohli is now in second spot behind Smith and trails the Aussie by one rating point in the latest rankings released on Tuesday by the ICC. It has been some comeback by Smith to reclaim the No1 ranking which he lost to Kohli in August last year after picking up a one-year suspension from international cricket.
Despite missing more than 12 months of international cricket action, the former Australia skipper took no time in closing down the gap to Kohli with twin tons in the first Ashes Test against England at Edgbaston.
Smith followed that match-winning display with a 92 in the first-innings of the Lord’s Test before a nasty bouncer from Jofra Archer forced him off the field for the remainder of the game.
The Australia batsman now has a chance to consolidate his No1 status in the remaining two Ashes Tests with Kohli not scheduled to play red-ball cricket until India’s home series against South Africa in October.
Meanwhile, India deputy skipper Ajinkya Rahane’s return to form has seen the batsman once again enter the top-10 of the rankings. The right-hander’s century and two fifties in the series against West Indies has propelled him to seventh spot in the table.
In the bowling department, India pacer Jasprit Bumrah’s sensational series against the West Indies has seen him climb into the top-three of the ICC rankings. Bumrah picked up 13 wickets across the two Tests including a hat-trick at Jamaica and that display has seen the India man jump to third spot from his previous ranking of seven.
Bumrah is now only behind Pat Cummins and Kagiso Rabada in the rankings for bowlers with West Indies skipper Jason Holder trailing him in fourth spot. Holder brought up 100 dismissals in the format in the final Test against India with the help of a five-wicket haul in the first innings and that showing has earned the all-rounder a jump of seven spots from his previous 11th rank.
The Windies star continues to maintain the No1 ranking for all-rounders ahead of England’s Ben Stokes who remains in the second spot.
ICC Test Rankings for Batsmen (Top three)
ICC Test Rankings for Bowlers (Top three)
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