Steve Smith goes past Kohli to become No.1 Test batsman
Indian captain chipped in with a good score of 76 in the 1st innings of team’s second Test against West Indies of the ICC World Test Championship in Jamaica but was dismissed for a golden duck in the second innings.
Virat Kohli lost the spot and has now slipped to No.2 in the ICC rankings with 903 points. As of now, Steve Smith leads Kohli by just 1 point but Smith will have the chance to strengthen the lead in the last 2 Test matches of the Ashes series against England.
Steve Smith was banned for 1 year from cricket over the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018 but he made a stellar return with twin hundreds in the first Ashes Test in Birmingham. He then followed that up with a classy 92-run knock at Lord’s before being ruled out after a brutal blow on the neck off Jofra Archer’s bowling.
Steve Smith did not play the third Test which England sealed a thriller by 1 wicket after a heroic century by Ben Stokes.
There is no hiding to the fact that Virat Kohli and Steve Smith are the greatest batting rivals in contemporary cricket. Steve Smith has been statistically very good, essaying 6577 runs including 25 hundreds from 66 Tests whereas Virat Kohli has amassed 6749 runs and 25 hundreds from 79 Tests.
But with average scores of 9, 51, 76 and 0, Virat Kohli lost his top spot to Australia’s best batsman Steve Smith.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and India’s Cheteshwar Pujara continued to hold on to their No.3 and No.4 places respectively while England’s Joe Root moved up to No.6 rank.
The under-pressure Ajinkya Rahane had a fabulous against the West Indies and because of which, he had climbed to No.7 while Dimuth Karunaratne and Aiden Markram slipped but continued to be in the top 10 batsmen rankings.
ICC Test Batsmen Rankings (September 3, 2019)
1. Steve Smith (AUS)
2. Virat Kohli (IND)
3. Kane Williamson (NZ)
4. Cheteshwar Pujara (IND)
5. Henry Nicholls (NZ)
6. Joe Root (ENG)
7. Ajinkya Rahane (IND)
8. Tom Latham (NZ)
9. Dimuth Karunaratne (SL)
10. Aiden Markram (SA)