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Virat Kohli on top of the world

Kohli
Virat Kohli jumps past Steve Smith to become the seventh Indian to become the No.1 Test batsman in the world.
  • Player of the match Sam Curran on the charge in batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders’ rankings

Virat Kohli has achieved another personal milestone by becoming the seventh India batsman and first since Sachin Tendulkar in June 2011, to top the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, which were released on Sunday morning following the conclusion of the Edgbaston Test.

Kohli scored 149 and 51 in India’s 31-run defeat and has gone up by 31 points, which have helped him to end Steve Smith’s 32-month reign as the top-ranked batsman and reach the top of the summit for the first time in his 67-Test career.

Kohli now leads Smith (who had held the top spot since December 2015) by five points, but will have to maintain the form in the remaining four Tests to finish the series as the world’s highest-ranked batsman.

Tendulkar had joined South Africa’s Jacques Kallis in number-one position in January 2011, but had dropped to second spot following the Jamaica Test in June 2011 after he had missed the three-Test series against the West Indies.

Apart from Kohli and Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag and Dilip Vengsarkar are the other India batsmen to have achieved number-one rankings during their careers.

However, at 934 points, Kohli has become India’s highest-ranked batsman, 14th overall, on the all-time tally of points. Kohli had entered the Edgbaston Test on 903 points, 13 points behind Gavaskar, and is now ahead of the ICC Cricket Hall of Famer by 18 points.

If Kohli can deliver another strong performance in the second Test at Lord’s, then he can break into the top-10 by leapfrogging Matthew Hayden, Kallis and AB de Villiers, whose highest points tally was 935 each. Donald Bradman (961) and Steve Smith (947) are the two batsmen sitting on top of this exclusive list.

Kohli, who powered India to the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup title in 2008 and then won the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2017, is the 76th player to top the Test batting rankings. He is also the number-one ranked ODI batsman, but is ranked 12th in T20Is, 220 points behind number-one ranked Aaron Finch of Australia.

England’s 20-year-old Sam Curran is another fascinating story from what was a nerve-wracking 1000th England men’s Test.

Sam Curran had an outstanding Test match and moved up on all the tables
Sam Curran had an outstanding Test match and moved up on all the tables

The left-handed all-rounder scored 24 and 63 with the bat, and claimed match figures of five for 92 with the ball, which not only earned him the player of the match award but significant gains in the latest rankings.

In the batting table, Curran has jumped from 152nd to 72nd, the bowling table has seen him rise 49 places to 62nd, while in the all-rounders’ category, he now sits in 37th position after jumping 58 places.

England’s wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow is the other England player to improve his ranking. The Yorkshireman now shares 12th position with the West Indies’ Kraigg Brathwaite after moving up four places.

The batsmen to lose ground after the Edgbaston Test include Alistair Cook 17th (down by four places), Lokesh Rahul 19th (down by one place), Ajinkya Rahane 22nd (down by three places), Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, who now share 25th position after slipping two and one spots, respectively, and Ben Stokes 33rd (down by five places).

In the bowlers’ table, Stuart Broad and Mohammed Shami are the two bowlers inside the top-20 who have headed in the opposite direction, while James Anderson has retained his top position but his lead over Kagiso Rabada has been reduced to two points.

Broad is now ranked 13th after falling one place, while Shami is in 19th spot after sliding two places.

Stokes has compensated for his double failure with the bat by taking six wickets in the Test, including three of India’s last four wickets. For this performance, he has been rewarded with a rise of four places, which has put him in 27th position.

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has gained 14 points following his four for 62 and three for 59, which means he now trails South Africa’s fourth-ranked Vernon Philander by just one point, while Ishant Sharma has collected 19 points to move within 13 points of 25th-ranked team-mate Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The Test player rankings will now be updated following the Lord’s Test, which begins on Thursday, 9 August.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 5 August, following Edgbaston Test)

BATSMEN (top 20)

Rank    (+/-)      Player             Team   Points  Avge    Highest Rating

   1       (+1)      Virat Kohli        Ind       934!    54.28  934 v Eng at Edgbaston 2018

   2       (-1)       Steve Smith     Aus      929      61.37  947 v SA at Durban 2018

   3       ( - )       Joe Root          Eng      865      52.18  917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015

   4       ( - )       Kane Williamson           NZ        847      50.35  893 v Aus at Perth 2015

   5       ( - )       David Warner   Aus      820      48.20  880 v NZ at Perth 2015

   6       ( - )       C. Pujara          Ind       791      50.34  888 v SL at Nagpur 2017

   7       ( - )       D. Karunaratne SL        754!    37.28  754 v SA at Colombo (SSC) 2018

   8       ( - )       D. Chandimal   SL        733      44.96  755 v Win at St Lucia 2018

   9       ( - )       Dean Elgar       SA       724      41.05  784 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

  10      ( - )       Aiden Markram SA       703*    47.27  759 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

  11      ( - )       Ross Taylor      NZ        697      47.22  871 v Win at Hamilton 2013

  12=    ( - )       Kraigg Brathwaite         Win      695      37.94  701 v Eng at Headingley 2017

            (+4)      Jonny Bairstow Eng      695      38.64  772 v SA at Old Trafford 2017

  14      ( - )       Hashim Amla    SA       673      47.23  907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013

  15      ( - )       Azhar Ali          Pak      672      44.84  787 v Aus at Melbourne 2016

  16      (+1)      Faf du Plessis  SA       665      42.33  734 v Ind at Centurion 2018

  17      (-4)       Alastair Cook    Eng      658      45.36  874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012

  18      (+2)      Kusal Mendis   SL        641      36.78  693 v Win at St Lucia 2018

  19      (-1)       Lokesh Rahul   Ind       634      39.20  761 v SL at Pallekele 2017

  20      (+1)      Usman Khawaja           Aus      633      42.00  747 v Pak at Sydney 2017

BOWLERS (top 20)

Rank    (+/-)      Player             Team   Points  Avge    Highest Rating

   1       ( - )       James Anderson          Eng      884      27.19  896 v Win at Lord's 2017

   2       ( - )       Kagiso Rabada            SA       882      21.71  902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018

   3       ( - )       Ravindra Jadeja           Ind       857      23.11  899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017

   4       ( - )       Vernon Philander         SA       826      21.54  912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013

   5       ( - )       R. Ashwin         Ind       825      25.17  904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016

   6       ( - )       Pat Cummins    Aus      800*!   23.81  800 v SA at Johannesburg 2018

   7       ( - )       Trent Boult       NZ        795      27.84  825 v Eng at Lord's 2015

   8       ( - )       Rangana Herath          SL        791      27.95  867 v Zim at Harare 2016

   9       ( - )       Neil Wagner     NZ        765      28.26  785 v Win at Wellington 2017

  10      ( - )       Josh Hazlewood           Aus      759      26.84  863 v Ind at Bengaluru 2017

  11      ( - )       Shannon Gabriel          Win      757!    29.57  757 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

  12      (+1)      Jason Holder    Win      731*!   29.35  731 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

  13      (-1)       Stuart Broad    Eng      730      28.95  880 v SA at Johannesburg 2016

  14=    ( - )       Tim Southee    NZ        720      30.82  799 v Win at Jamaica 2014

            ( - )       Mitchell Starc    Aus      720      28.17  805 v SA at Durban 2018

  16      ( - )       Nathan Lyon    Aus      710      32.21  774 v Eng at Adelaide 2017

  17      (+1)      Keshav Maharaj           SA       692*    27.65  695 v Zim at Port Elizabeth 2017

  18      (+1)      Yasir Shah       Pak      683      29.44  878 v Eng at Lord's 2016

  19      (-2)       M. Shami          Ind       680      29.04  703 v SA at Johannesburg 2018

  20      ( - )       Kemar Roach   Win      667      28.31  774 v SA at Centurion 2014

ALL-ROUNDERS (top five)

Rank    (+/-)      Player             Team   Points  Highest Rating

   1       ( - )       Shakib Al Hasan          Ban      420     489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

   2       ( - )       Ravindra Jadeja           Ind       385     438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017

   3       ( - )       Vernon Philander         SA       370     379 v SL at Galle 2018

   4       ( - )       R. Ashwin         Ind       359     493 v Eng at Mohali 2016

   5       ( - )       Jason Holder    Win      354/*   355 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.

!indicates career-highest rating

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