Steve Smith topples Virat Kohli, becomes No. 1 Test batsman

Australia’s Steve Smith is back on top in the ICC rankings for Test batsmen after Virat Kohli could manage only 21 runs in the first Test against New Zealand.

Kohli, who has 906 points, slipped to No. 2 in a list which also features Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal.   -  Getty Images

Australia’s Steve Smith is back on top in the ICC rankings for Test batsmen after India captain Virat Kohli could manage only 21 runs in his two innings in the first Test against New Zealand in Wellington.

Kohli, who has 906 points, slipped to No. 2 in a list which also features Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal at the eighth, ninth and 10th place respectively.

Kohli’s slump meant Smith was back on top for the eighth time after first occupying the top position in June 2015. The last batsman, apart from Smith and Kohli, to be number one is New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, for an eight-day period in December 2015.

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Ashwin makes gains

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who took three wickets for 99 in the first innings against New Zealand, slipped a place to ninth but remained the only Indian featuring in the top 10 with 765 points.

Fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who took a five-wicket haul on his comeback from injury during the opening Test, gained a place to be at the 17th spot. New Zealand pacers Tim Southee and Trent Boult made big gains after finishing with nine and five wickets, respectively in the first Test against India.

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The all-rounders’ list features Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin at the third and fifth positions respectively. While Jadeja didn’t play the first Test, Ashwin scored 0 and 4 in the two innings to lose a place.

In the ICC World Test Championship, India continues to be placed at the top with 360 points, followed by Australia (296).

New Zealand is on 120 after gaining 60 points for the Wellington victory. It had won 60 points in a 1-1 draw against Sri Lanka.

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