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Virat Kohli tops Test rankings

  • Virat Kohli regained the top spot in ICC’s Test rankings following his 136 against Bangladesh in Kolkata
  • He displaced Australian batsman Steve Smith who slipped to second place in the latest rankings

Virat Kohli scored 136 against Bangladesh in November.
Virat Kohli scored 136 against Bangladesh in November. (Photo: PTI)

India captain Virat Kohli regained the top spot in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) Test rankings on 4 December after Australian Steve Smith slipped a rung in the latest list.

Kohli struck a fine 136 in the day-night Kolkata Test against Bangladesh on 13 November to reach 928 points. He is now five points clear at the top. Smith’s knock of 36 in the Adelaide Test against Pakistan saw him slip to 923 points, down 8 points from 931 before the match. Smith had displaced Kohli from the No.1 spot back in September when he had scored 774 runs from four Tests during the Ashes series against Australia. Kohli first reached the No.1 spot in 2018, and he is also India’s highest-ranked batsman ever.

Cheteshwar Pujara has held on to his fourth spot, while Ajinkya Rahane has come down one spot to sixth in the latest update.

Among the bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah is the highest-ranked Indian at fifth. Off-spinner R. Ashwin retained his earlier ranking of ninth in the bowlers’ list. “Australia opener David Warner’s epic 335 not out has lifted him 12 places to the fifth position while Marnus Labuschagne is in the top 10 for the first time after being ranked as low as 110th at the start of the year," the ICC said in a statement. Fast bowler Mitchell Starc is another Australian to gain in the rankings. Starc has moved up four places to 14th after grabbing seven wickets in the Adelaide Test. The rankings have also taken into account performances in the drawn New Zealand-England Test in Hamilton and the one in Lucknow where West Indies defeated Afghanistan by nine wickets.

England captain Joe Root is back in the top 10 after spending a week outside it, his innings of 226 pulling him up to seventh from 11th. Rory Burns’ second Test century has pushed him into the top 40 for the first time.

For New Zealand, Ross Taylor has gained two places to reach 16th among batsmen and Tim Southee has moved up one place to 13th among bowlers.

West Indies captain Jason Holder’s five wickets have helped him move up to third place with a career-best 830 points . He also tops the all-rounders’ list. The ICC Test rankings are updated after each Test match—but only if another match is not in progress.

With inputs from Mint Lounge’s Bibek Bhattacharya.

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