Australia star batsman Steve Smith has returned to the top spot in the ICC Test batsman rankings after Kane Williamson replaced him at the top in December last year. Steve Smith has reclaimed the top position in the rankings for the first time since the Boxing Day Test last year against India. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has come down to second with 886 points, while Smith has 891.
The reason for Kane Williamson coming down in the rankings is due to his poor series against England even though New Zealand beat the Englishmen in the two-Test series. The right-handed batsman compiled scores of 13 and 1 in the first Test against England at Lord’s and missed the following one at Edgbaston due to injury concerns. However, Williamson could return to the spot after the ICC World Test Championship final.
It also means that Steve Smith has been at the top for 167 Tests played worldwide in total and remains behind Gary Sobers (189 matches) and Viv Richards (179 Tests). Furthermore, Indian captain Virat Kohli has climbed to the fourth spot in the rankings as England captain Joe Root, who slipped to number five, had an underwhelming series against New Zealand at home.
Steve Smith to play his next Test against Afghanistan followed by the Ashes:
Meanwhile, Steve Smith will play his next Test later this year when Australia and Afghanistan lock horns in the one-off Test in Hobart. Following that, Australia and England will compete in five Tests for the Ashes urn. One would expect the former Australian captain to accumulate a mountain of runs against the Englishmen at home like he does on most occasions.