ICC Test rankings: Virat Kohli likely to maintain lead in duel with Steve Smith for top spot

first_img India Today Web Desk New DelhiAugust 31, 2019UPDATED: August 31, 2019 13:40 IST ICC Test rankings: Steve Smith is closing in on World No. 1 Virat Kohli (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSSteve Smith is just 6 rating points behind No. 1 batsman Virat KohliSmith has been in phenomenal form in Ashes 2019Kohli is set to maintain lead in near future after successive fifties vs West IndiesIndia captain Virat Kohli is likely to maintain the lead in ICC Test rankings in the near future despite Steve Smith closing in on him with some fine performances in the Ashes.Steve Smith is at the 2nd spot with 904 rating points, 6 less than Virat Kohli who holds the numero uno spot in Test batting charts.Virat Kohli had suffered a rare failure in the first innings of the first Test against West Indies in Antigua but the skipper hit form with a fifty in the second innings and a stroke-filled 76 on Day 1 of the ongoing second Test in Jamaica. The back-to-back fifties should give Kohli the much-needed cushion to stay on top of the batting charts, at least in the near future.Steve Smith, on the other hand, has a golden opportunity to go top as he is slated to return to Australia’s playing XI in the 4th Test, starting September 4 in Manchester.Smith, who was ruled out of the 3rd Test due to delayed concussion, is playing for Australia in their 3-day warm-up match against Derbyshire in Manchester. The Australia batsman had reportedly headed straight to the practice nets right after getting dismissed for 23 in the first innings for the visitors against Derbyshire.Virat Kohli had been sitting pretty on the top of the batting charts in Test cricket over the last 18 months, scoring runs at home and on the road at will. The World No. 1 had amassed 1322 runs at a staggering average of 55.08 in 2018 despite India playing in South Africa, England and Australia. In 2019, Kohli has so far scored 159 runs in just 3 Tests.Smith’s phenomenal run on comeback boosts rating pointsSteve Smith is closing in on the gap between the two at some pace ever since he made a return to Test cricket following his ball-tampering ban at Ashes 2019.advertisementSmith had played only 3 Tests in 2018 before the infamous Test in Cape Town wherein the then Australia captain, openers Cameron Bancroft and David Warner were caught trying to tamper with the ball. Following the dramatic episode, Smith was handed a 12-month ban from international cricket.However, Steve Smith seems to have continued from where he left as has undoubtedly been Australia’s hero in the ongoing Ashes series in England. In just 2 Tests, Steve Smith has scored 378 runs, which includes twin hundreds in Edgbaston.Smith resumed his international career at the third spot in Test rankings. He had 857 ranking points before the Ashes started the twin tons in Edgbaston and a valiant 92 at Lord’s during which he took a blow to his neck has helped him go past the 900-point mark.In fact, Steve Smith needed only 1 match on his return to leapfrog New Zealand captain Kane Williamson to the second spot.Also Read | India vs West Indies: Good feeling to get Cheteshwar Pujara as my 1st Test wicket, says Rahkeem CornwallAlso Read | Jamaica Test: Virat Kohli delights fans with selfies and autographs after hitting fifty on Day 1Also See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Virat KohliFollow Steve SmithFollow ICC Test rankingFollow Kane WilliamsonFollow India VS West IndiesFollow Ashes 2019Follow England VS Australia ICC Test rankings: Virat Kohli likely to maintain lead in duel with Steve Smith for top spotVirat Kohli was in danger of losing out on the top spot of ICC Test rankings to Steve Smith but back-to-back fifties against West Indies in the ongoing Test series has given him the much-needed cushion to continue leading the batting charts.advertisement Nextlast_img

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