Australia star Steve Smith has moved one place higher to grab the third position in the latest ICC Test rankings for batsmen after making a sensational comeback to Test cricket. Playing his first Test after serving the one-year ban for the sandpaper gate last year, Smith starred with the bat as Australia crushed England in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston.
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In the first innings of the match, Smith scored 144. It was a remarkable knock given the way he was having little support from the other end. At one stage, Australia were reeling at 122 for 8. Even 150 was looking like a distant dream for Australia. However, Smith forged handy partnerships with Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon to propel Australia to 284.
In reply, England took a handy 90-run lead in the first innings. Australia then found themselves in further trouble after losing both their openers cheaply. But before England could make further inroads in the game, Smith once again bailed Australia out of trouble. He scored 142 and was well supported by Matthew Wade who scored a ton too as Australia scored 487 for 7 (declared). Australia went on to win the match by 251 runs.
India skipper Virat Kohli has retained his number one position in the ICC Test batsmen’s rankings. Kohli, who last featured in India’s 2-1 Test series win over Australia, is sitting on 922 points. New Zealand’s Kane Williamson (913) is second and Smith (903) third in the rankings.
In the bowlers’ rankings, Pat Cummins consolidated the first place with a seven-wicket match haul and is followed by Kagiso Rabada (2) and James Anderson (3) with Vernon Philander (4) and Neil Wagner (5) rounding up the top five. Ravindra Jadeja is the highest ranked Indian bowler at sixth. Australia spinner Nathan Lyon, who picked up six wickets in the second innings, has jumped six spots to 13th position among bowlers.
English pacer Stuart Broad, who became the 19th bowler to take 100 Ashes wickets during the match, gained two places to reach 16th position. Chris Woakes eclipsed compatriot Moeen Ali to reach ninth among all-rounders.