Steve Smith dethrones Virat Kohli
Australia’s Steve Smith is back at No.1 on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings for Batsmen after India captain Virat Kohli slipped to No.2, following his first-ball duck in Jamaica.
Kohli’s side are top of the ICC Test Championship with two wins in as many games, and the captain himself overtook MS Dhoni to be India’s most successful Test skipper. However, having made 76 in the first innings against West Indies, he edged his first ball from Kemar Roach in the second innings to the wicket-keeper. After three Tests this year, he is yet to add to his 25 Test hundreds.
That allowed Smith, who missed the third Test at Headingley, to open up a single-point lead in the rankings announced on Tuesday, 3 September. He has a chance to extend that lead in the fourth Ashes Test, starting Wednesday.
Smith was on the top spot his since December 2015. It was only in August 2018, when Smith was serving a ban for his role in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, that Kohli overtook him on the charts, after reaching career-high rating points in the series against England.
The Australian No.4 has fought his way back up the charts in his first series back from the ban, making twin centuries in the first Test against England and 92 in the second. He now averages 63.2 in Test cricket.
Kohli’s next chance to challenge Smith will be in the home Test series against South Africa, starting on 2 October.
Elsewhere on the batting charts, India’s Ajinkya Rahane returned to the top 10, rising four places to No.7, after following up his half-century and hundred in Antigua with another useful half-century in Jamaica. Hanuma Vihari, described by Kohli as “the find of the series“, shot up 40 places to No.30 after just six Tests.