Cricket: Kohli climbs to 2nd spot in ICC Test Rankings for batsmen
Kohli, who is currently ranked second in ODI Player Rankings among batsmen and first in Twenty20 Internationals, is just 11 points behind Australia captain Steve Smith. Photograph: (Getty)
Indian captain Virat Kohli climbed to the second spot in the ICC Test Rankings for batsmen on Tuesday. The middle-order batsman has been prolific in the on-going Test series against England, amassing 640 runs in the first four Tests.
Kohli will now have his eyes set on his Australian counterpart Steve Smith, the leader of the rankings for batsman. Both the captains are part of the 'Fab Four' club of batsman in world cricket.
The 28-year-old Kohli, who hit 235 in India's only innings in Mumbai in the fourth Test, his highest score in the longest format, has earned him 53 points (for an aggregate of 886 rating points) which has lifted him by one position to a career-best second rank.
He is now is in line to top the rankings in all three forms of the game at some point in time. Kohli, who is currently ranked second in ODI Player Rankings among batsmen and first in Twenty20 Internationals, is just 11 points behind Australia captain Steve Smith, who will get a chance to maintain his top ranking in an upcoming three-Test series against Pakistan.
Ravichandran Ashwin, on the other hand, continued at his top spot in ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers after his match haul of 12/167 in the fourth Test against England in Mumbai that helped the home side score an innings and 36 runs victory for a winning 3-0 lead in the five-match series.Ashwin, who had touched the coveted 900-point mark for the first time in October when he had reclaimed the top ranking, has reached 904 points to run up a 37-point lead over second-placed Rangana Herath of Sri Lanka.
Ashwin's rating is the second best-ever by an off-spinner after Muttiah Muralidaran (920), fifth best among spinners after Tony Lock (912), Derek Underwood (907) and Shane Warne (905), and the 18th in the overall list. Ashwin, who grabbed six wickets each in the two innings in Mumbai, had finished the 2015 year-end rankings as the number-one bowler and was also at the top briefly in July this year. He is also the top-ranked all-rounder at 483 points and enjoys a healthy lead over Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, who is on 405 points with England's Ben Stokes third with 341 points.
Ashwin's spin partner Ravindra Jadeja has bridged the gap with Stokes to just one point in the all-rounders' list after taking six wickets in Mumbai. Jadeja's continued success has also helped him reach a career-best ranking of sixth among bowlers. Other India players to make upward movements among batsmen are opener Murali Vijay and all-rounder Jayant Yadav. Vijay has moved up five places to 24th position after his knock of 136 while Yadav's 104 runs at number nine position, has pushed him up 31 slots to 56th rank.
In the ICC Test Team Rankings, India continued to lead the chart with 115 points, followed by England (105), Australia (105), Pakistan (102), South Africa (102), New Zealand (96), Sri Lanka (96), West Indies (69), Bangladesh (65) and Zimbabwe (5). Australia and Pakistan will go head to head in a three-Test series starting in Brisbane on Thursday, with both the sides aiming for an upward movement. However, this position will potentially change when the ICC Test Team Rankings are updated following the Chennai Test between India and England. If second-ranked England wins the Test, then it will finish on 103 points, but it will end on 101 points if India wins the series 4-0.