India's Virat Kohli closes in on Steve Smith in ICC Test rankings after Pune double-ton

Sudhir Gupta 14:53 14/10/2019
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Kohli makes big gains. Image credit - ICC/Twitter.

Virat Kohli’s monumental unbeaten knock of 254 in the second Test against South Africa has catapulted the India skipper to within one rating-point of the No1 Steve Smith in the latest ICC Rankings for batsmen.

Kohli’s record seventh Test double-ton and personal best in the format has seen the India man claw back the huge deficit he had surrendered to the Aussie batsman following the latter’s superlative displays in the 2019 Ashes series.

The India star’s failure to register a single ton in his previous 10 Test innings had seen his No1 ranking usurped by Smith with the Aussie stretching that lead to as many as 38 points in the previous ICC update.

A lean spell in the format had seen Kohli’s rating drop below 900 but he has once again surpassed that landmark with the latest update pegging him at 936 points. Smith, meanwhile, remains one point ahead on 937.

With the third and final Test between India and South Africa still to come, Kohli now has a golden opportunity to reclaim his No1 ranking with Smith not due to play in Australia’s whites until November 21 at least.

There were also further big gains for India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who claimed a total of six wickets in the Pune Test to make the jump to seventh place in the rankings for bowlers.

Among batsmen, opener Mayank Agarwal’s two centuries in as many Tests against the Proteas has seen the India right-hander climb to a career-best 17th spot in the rankings.

Kohli, Agarwal and Ashwin will be in action once again when the third Test between India and South Africa gets underway in Ranchi on Saturday.

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