Steve Smith widens gap as top-ranked Test batsman

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In the latest rankings released by the ICC, Smith leads Virat Kohli, who is ranked second, by 66 points and has 939 points to his name © Getty

Steve Smith widened the gap at the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings for batsman after his splendid century in the second innings of the first Test in Pune against India. In the latest rankings released by the cricket governing body on Sunday (February 26), Smith leads Virat Kohli, who is ranked second, by 66 points and has 939 points to his name.

Joe Root, Kane Williamson and David Warner complete the top five list followed by Hashim Amla and the Pakistan duo of Azhar Ali and Younis Khan. Despite missing a considerable amount of cricket, AB de Villiers still finds himself ranked tenth behind Quinton de Kock.

Smith wasn’t the only one making the upward march after the 333-run mauling of India in Pune. Steve O’Keefe shot up 33 places to reach a career-best 29th in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers after ending with match figures of 12 for 70. In a career-best climb, Josh Hazlewood caught up with Ravindra Jadeja as the second-highest ranked bowler while R Ashwin continued to lead the chart with 878 points to his name.

Rangana Herath is ranked fourth while Kagiso Rabada holds the fifth spot in the table. Ashwin continues to be the top ranked all-rounder in Tests while Jadeja holds the third spot. After his crucial contributions in both innings, Mitchell Starc has climbed up three places to take the fourth spot and replace Ben Stokes, who slipped to fifth.

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