Steve Smith went past Virat Kohli as he climbed to the No.2 spot in the latest edition of the ICC Test rankings for batsmen. However, the Australian’s Man of the Match display in Sydney wasn’t enough to dethrone Kane Williamson at the top.
Williamson consolidated his No.1 Test ranking as he recorded the best-ever rating points (919) by a Kiwi batsman, following his outstanding 238 against Pakistan. The previous best was 915, which was also registered by the New Zealand skipper in December 2018.
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane lost one place each in the latest rankings, as they slipped to third and seventh spots respectively. However, there was good news for Cheteshwar Pujara as he got rewarded for scoring half-centuries in both innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground with a two-place jump to eighth spot.
Another Indian who gained big was wicket-keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. The left-hander scored 36 and a brilliant 97 in the Sydney Test, and climbed 19 places to 26th.
Steve Smith’s Sydney masterclass won him plaudits
Steve Smith roared back to form against India in Sydney. The right-handed batsman scored a brilliant 131 in the first innings before notching up 81 in the second.
Steve Smith's return to form wasn’t enough though, as Australia only managed to draw the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
While Steve Smith moved past Virat Kohli in the ICC Test rankings, Marnus Labuschagne will have a chance to do the same when Australia take on India in Brisbane.
The Australian batsman is the top scorer in the series and consolidated his fourth-place ranking after scores of 91 and 73 in Sydney. Labuschagne is just four ranking points shy of Virat Kohli, and a strong showing at the Gabba could see him dislodge the Indian skipper and break into the top-three.
Other movements saw New Zealand’s Henry Nicholls break into the top 10 after his 157 against Pakistan. On the other hand, despite returning from injury, David Warner had a match to forget in Sydney. The Australian opener lacked match fitness and could only manage scores of 5 and 13. His poor show saw him drop three places to 10th.Published 12 Jan 2021, 13:33 IST