The Telegraph
Sunday, December 17, 2017

Kohli moves up to No. 2 in Tests

First published on 08-Dec-2017
Virat Kohli

Calcutta: Virat Kohli has moved up three places to second spot in the ICC rankings for Test batsmen following a prolific home series against Sri Lanka.

Kohli is also the No. 1 batsman in ODIs and T20Is, but trails Steven Smith by 45 points in Tests, leaving him short of emulating Ricky Ponting as the only batsman to hold the top rank across formats at the same time.

Kohli scored 610 runs in five innings in the Test series against Sri Lanka, making a hundred and back-to-back double centuries. The 243 in the third Test in Delhi was Kohli’s career-best score, and helped him overtake David Warner, Cheteshwar Pujara, Kane Williamson and Joe Root in the rankings.

While Kohli has 893 points, Smith’s lead is considerable in Tests — his tally of 941 last week was the joint fifth-highest in Test history. Smith is presently on 938 points. Ponting held the No. 1 rank simultaneously across formats at the same time in 2005-06, and Matthew Hayden is the only other batsman to have been top-ranked across formats.

For Sri Lanka, captain Dinesh Chandimal broke into the top-ten for the first time in his career. He moved up eight spots and is presently ninth after making 366 runs in the Test series against India.

Though Smith enjoys a substantial lead over Kohli, the competition for second to fifth positions remain intense. Before this Test, only 11 points separated second-ranked Pujara from fifth-ranked Kohli. Following the latest performances, the gap has increased slightly with 28 points now separating Kohli from fifth-ranked Williamson.  England captain Joe Root has retained his third spot after scores of nine and 67 in Adelaide.

In the ICC Test team rankings, India has lost one point but remains well ahead of South Africa at the top of the rankings, while Sri Lanka remain on its pre-series tally of 94 points in sixth place.

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