Australian batsman Steve Smith has moved up to the second spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Player Rankings for Test batsmen after scoring a valiant knock of 92 during the first innings of the drawn second Ashes Test against England at the Lords' Cricket Ground.
The blistering knock saw Smith gain one spot and close in on top-ranked Indian skipper Virat Kohli in the updated rankings.The Australia batsman has overtaken New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and is now only nine points behind Kohli (922 points), but the India captain will get a chance to consolidate his position in the upcoming two-match Test series in the West Indies starting Thursday.
Williamson is now standing at the third spot with 887 points, followed by India's Cheteshwar Pujara who continued to stand at the fourth place with 881 points. Henry Nicholls of New Zealand rounds off the top five.
Meanwhile, Marnus Labuschagne--who batted in the second innings as Smith withdrew following mild concussion--has also moved up 16 places to 82nd position after scoring a determined 59 that helped Australia draw the second Test and retain a 1-0 lead in the five-match series that kicked off the ICC World Test Championship.
Travis Head, who advanced two places to 18th after an unbeaten 42 in the second innings, is another Australia batsman to move up the rankings while Pat Cummins has gained one place to reach fifth position in the all-rounders’ list.
For England, player of the match Ben Stokes has moved up six places to 26th after scores of 13 and 115 not out at Lord’s while wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow (up seven places to 30th), left-handed opener Rory Burns (up 17 places to 64th) and all-rounder Chris Woakes (up two places to 68th) have also moved up the rankings for batsmen.
In the ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers, Stuart Broad and Woakes have both gained two places to occupy the 14th and 27th places, respectively, with four and three wickets in the match.Left-arm spinner Jack Leach’s four wickets have lifted him from 48th to 40th position while Jofra Archer has entered the rankings in 83rd place after finishing with five wickets in his debut Test.
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne’s player of the match effort of 39 and 122 in the opening Test match against New Zealand at Galle has not only helped his team take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series with a six-wicket win but has also helped the opener move up four places to 8th position.
Former captain Angelo Mathews (up three places to 14th) and wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella (up five places to 33rd) have also moved up in the batting rankings while spinner Akila Dananjaya (up nine places to 36th) has made major gains among bowlers.
For New Zealand, left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel has advanced 14 slots to take 61st position after finishing with six wickets in Galle, including a five-wicket haul in the first innings.
Meanwhile, India could lose their top position in the ICC Test Team Rankings as even a 1-0 loss to the West Indies in their upcoming seires will see them slip to 108 points. That margin will be enough for the West Indies to overtake Pakistan to seventh position at 88 points.