Dubai : Riding on his career-best 243 in the third Test against Sri Lanka, India captain Virat Kohli on Thursday jumped three places to grab the second position among batsmen in the ICC Test rankings.
Kohli’s double ton was followed by a 50 in the second innings as he finished with 610 runs in the series, which India won 1-0 after the first and third Test ended in draws in Kolkata and New Delhi. Kohli, who slammed back-to-back double-centuries and recorded three-figure scores in three consecutive matches, started the series in sixth position but has leapfrogged David Warner, Cheteshwar Pujara, Kane Williamson and Joe Root after the stupendous run which saw him average 152.50.
Though 45 points separate him from Australia captain Steve Smith, Kohli would be eyeing the chance of reaching the zenith in all three formats since he is the current No. 1 in ODIs and T20Is, the ICC said in a statement.
Smith though has been in a different league and last week reached 941 points, the joint fifth-highest in terms of the highest points tally in batting history in Tests. Smith is now on 938 points while Kohli is on 893 points. Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting is the only batsman to have been at the top in all three formats at the same time – in December-January 2005-06, while his compatriot Matthew Hayden is the other batsman to have topped all three formats. Though Smith enjoys a substantial lead over Kohli, the competition for second to fifth positions remains 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 second-ranked Kohli from fifth-ranked Williamson.
Among other Indians, opener Murali Vijay (up three places to 25th) and middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma (up six places to 40th) are the other batsmen to move up. Pujara slipped two places to the fourth spot, while Ravindra Jadeja slumped to the third position after losing a place in the bowlers ranking. R Ashwin was steady at the fourth spot. In the allrounder list, Jadeja was at the second spot, while Ashwin lost a place to be at the fourth position.
For Sri Lanka, captain Dinesh Chandimal has gained eight places to take ninth position after finishing the series with 366 runs, the first time he has moved into the top 10. All-rounder Angelo Mathews has moved up seven places to 23rd position after scoring 111 in the first innings while Dhananjaya de Silva’s match-saving 119 in the second innings has lifted him nine places to 47th position. 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 remains on its pre-series tally of 94 points in sixth place.