Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara made significant gains in the ICC Rankings for Test Batsmen following their impressive showing in the recently-concluded second Test against Sri Lanka at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. Pujara was rewarded with 22 points after scoring a brilliant 143 to jump to second place in the rankings from fourth. Kohli vaulted from 817 points to 877 points after scoring his fifth career double-century in 62 Tests to occupy fifth place. Meanwhile, Australian captain Steve Smith has extended his lead at the top.
Smith stroked a magnificent unbeaten 141, his 21st century in 57 Tests, which helped Australia record a comprehensive 10-wicket victory over England in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
“For his performance, Smith has gained five points to rise to 941 points, making him joint-fifth in terms of the highest points tally in batting history in Tests behind Sir Don Bradman (961), Len Hutton (945), Jack Hobbs (942) and Ricky Ponting (942), and at par with Peter May (941),” an ICC press release stated.
Meanwhile, Pujara’s century lifted him from fourth to second on a career-high 888 points. The 29-year-old now leads his fifth-ranked captain Kohli by 11 points.
England captain Joe Root, who had a poor outing in the first Ashes Test, currently occupied third place while New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is in fourth spot, while sixth-ranked David Warner of Australia is another 51 points behind Kohli.
Smith, who led Root by 47 points before the start of the Brisbane and Nagpur Tests, now leads Pujara by 53 points.
India opener Murali Vijay and middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma, both of whom scored centuries in the Nagpur Test, have also made impressive gains. Vijay has risen eight places to 28th position, while Rohit has shot up seven places to 46th spot.
In the bowlers’ rankings, Ravindra Jadeja has reclaimed second spot following his match figures of five for 84, while Mitchell Starc has returned to the top 10 in 10th position after his match figures of six for 128 helped him to gain three places.Ravichandran Ashwin, who became the fastest to take 300 Test wickets, has consolidated his fourth position by gaining nine points which have put him on 849 points. India’s star off-spinner is now 42 points behind number-one ranked James Anderson who has dropped five points after claiming two wickets in the Brisbane Test.