Tue, 14 Jul 2020

Steven Smith moves to No. 2 in Test rankings for batsmen

19 Aug 2019, 22:42 GMT+10

6:17 AM ET

Steven Smith has leapfrogged Kane Williamson to second place on the ICC Test rankings for batsmen after amassing 378 runs in three innings at an average of 126 in the ongoing Ashes series. Despite being banned from international cricket for a year because of his role in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, Smith narrowed the gap between him and the No. 1 Test batsman, Virat Kohli, to just nine rating points. England captain Joe Root has dropped to ninth place from sixth.

ALSO READ - Ian Chappell: Why Smith '19 reminds us of Bradman '30

Marnus Labuschagne, who had stepped in as Test cricket's first concussion substitute after Smith was withdrawn from the Lord's Test following a blow to the neck from a Jofra Archer bouncer, vaulted 16 places to 82nd among batsmen. Labuschange, too, was struck on the hemlet by Archer, but soldiered on to make a gritty 59 that was central to Australia saving the Test.

ALSO READ: 'I know where I am; I'm on zero and it was a fast bouncer' - Labuschagne

Ben Stokes, who struck 115 off 165 balls in England's second innings at Lord's, jumped from 32nd to 26th among batsmen while opener Rory Burns gained 17 places to 64th. Burns had followed his century at Edgbaston with a first-innings 53 at Lord's.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne broke into the top ten after his fourth-innings 122 handed Sri Lanka 60 points in their first World Test Championship match, against New Zealand in Galle. Karunaratne moved from 12th to eighth while New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel jumped 14 places to 61st among bowlers after claiming a match haul of six wickets in the Galle Test.

Among the other bowlers in action over the past week, Archer, who created such an impact on debut, entered the rankings in 83rd place, while Jack Leach, also impressive at Lord's, moved up eight spots to No. 40. And after Sri Lanka's win in Galle, Akila Dananjaya, who picked up five wickets in the first innings, has gone up to 36th position on the table headed by Pat Cummins, who consolidated his position with a match haul of 6 for 96, which gave him a career-best 914 points.

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