Kane Williamson dethrones Smith to become number one Test batsman
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has become the number one batsman in Test cricket. He claimed the number one spot for batsmen in the ICC Men's Test Rankings for Batsmen after playing a match-winning innings in the first Test against Pakistan. Meanwhile, Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane has also moved to the sixth spot in the rankings. Here is more on the same.
Williamson moved up two places in the rankings
Williamson (890) surged two places in the rankings to overtake Virat Kohli (879) and Steve Smith (877). He was named the Player of the Match in the recently-concluded opening Test against Pakistan for his defiant ton. His 297-ball 129 set up the foundation of New Zealand's victory at the Bay Oval. Earlier this year, Williamson notched up his third double-century against WI (Tests).
A look at the ICC Test Rankings for batsmen
Williamson last occupied the top spot in 2015
Williamson had briefly occupied the top spot toward the end of 2015, however, either Smith or Kohli have been number one ever since. This year as well, Smith was leading the rankings (for 313 days) and Kohli (for 51), before Williamson surpassed the former.
Rahane, du Plessis gain big in the rankings
Apart from Williamson, India's stand-in skipper Rahane has moved to the sixth spot in the ICC Rankings for Batsmen. He brought up a historic ton (112 off 223 balls) at the MCG to inspire India's comeback victory. Meanwhile, Proteas batsman Faf du Plessis missed out on a record double-hundred by one run against Sri Lanka in Centurion, thereby gaining 14 places to reach 21st position.
Ashwin, Bumrah and Starc make notable gains in rankings
In the Rankings for Bowlers, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah have made notable gains. While Ashwin moved up two places to number seven, the latter jumped to ninth spot by gaining one place. Meanwhile, Australia pace spearhead Mitchell Starc's four wickets against India helped him achieve a career best-equaling fifth position (two places).
ICC Test Rankings for bowlers
NZ on the cusp of becoming number one Test side
Although New Zealand are on the brink of becoming the number one Test side, they remain fractionally behind Australia as the Test Team rankings are updated only at the end of a series. Even a draw in the second Test against Pakistan could see New Zealand take the top spot from Australia, who will lock horns with India at the SCG.