It didn't take Smith too long to find his way back to No.1 on the ICC Test batting rankings. (Photo: Twitter/@ICC)
Indian skipper Virat Kohli lost his numero uno status after being toppled by Australia’s Steve Smith in the batsman’s chart, while Jasprit Bumrah rose to third position among bowlers in the latest ICC Test Rankings released on Tuesday. Kohli slipped to No.2 spot following his first-ball duck in the Jamaica Test, while Smith returned to the top spot riding on his twin centuries in the first Ashes Test against England and 92 in the second match.
Among others, Ajinkya Rahane returned to top 10, rising four places to No.7, after following up his half-century and hundred in Antigua with another useful fifty in Jamaica. Hanuma Vihari, described by Kohli as “the find of the series”, shot up 40 places to No.30 after just six Tests following a fruitful West Indies tour.
With India beating West Indies by 257 runs in the second Test here on Monday, Kohli registered his 28th Test win from 48 matches, surpassing Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 27 wins from 60 Tests, to become the country’s most successful captain in the longest format.
However after having made 76 in the first innings of the second Test against the West Indies, Kohli made a first-ball duck in the second essay. He is yet to add to his 25 Test hundreds after three Tests this year.
That allowed Smith, who missed the third Test at Headingley, to open up a single-point lead in the latest rankings. He has a chance to extend that lead in the fourth Ashes Test, starting at Manchester on Wednesday.
Smith was on the top spot since December 2015. It was only in August 2018, when he was serving a ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal, that Kohli overtook him 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 October 2. In ICC Test rankings for bowlers, Bumrah, who is currently the No.1 ODI bowler, continued his impressive run to climb up to the third spot with a career-best 835 rating points.
Bumrah is now only behind Australia’s Pat Cummins and South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada. West Indies skipper Jason Holder, who is already No.1 on the ICC Test rankings for all-rounders, rose seven places to join England’s James Anderson at the fourth spot. He picked up six wickets in the second Test, including 5/77 in the first innings.
Among other movers in the bowling chart were India’s Mohammed Shami (up one to No.18) and Ishant Sharma (up one to No.20). Bumrah, who earlier in the series became the fastest Indian to pick up 50 Test wickets, has had an exceptional time in red-ball cricket since his debut in early 2018, racing to 62 wickets in just 12 matches.
In the just-concluded two Tests against the West Indies, Bumrah finished with 13 wickets at a strike rate of 9.23. That included figures of 5/7 in the first Test and a hat-trick in the first innings of the second Test at Sabina Park, Jamaica. India won the series 2-0.