Kohli loses top spot in ICC Test rankings; Anderson breaches 900-point mark

Kohli loses top

Virat Kohli, after being atop the MRF Tyres International Cricket Council Test rankings for  week, has lost the top position to Steven Smith. The out-of-action Australian, serving one year suspension on ball tampering charges, returns to the  top.

Meanwhile, in-form seamer James Anderson has become only the seventh England bowler and the first in 38 years from his country to breach the 900-point mark in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings after an excellent performance in the second Test against India at Lord’s, which his side won by an innings and 159 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the five-Test series.

Anderson’s outstanding match figures of nine for 43 have enabled him to reach 903 points and join a select group comprising Sydney Barnes (932), George Lohmann (931), Tony Lock (912), Ian Botham (911), Derek Underwood (907) and Alec Bedser (903), all of whom peaked at over 900 points during their careers, ICC has stated in a Press release.

Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Tests with 553 scalps and the only one to claim 100 Test wickets at Lord’s, is the first England bowler to breach the coveted mark since Botham touched 900 points in August 1980. Anderson now leads second-placed South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada by 21 points in the bowlers’ list.

Another one to make a mark in the Lord’s Test and whose performances reflect strongly in the latest rankings update is player of the match Chris Woakes, whose splendid century and useful bowling efforts see him move up all three charts – for batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders.

Woakes, who slammed an unbeaten 137 in England’s only innings and chipped in with four wickets in the match, has gained 34 places to reach a career-best 50th position among batsmen while also moving up three places to 32nd among bowlers and by five places to seventh among all-rounders.

Another England player to catch the eye in the latest rankings is wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow, whose 93-run knock has lifted him back to the top 10, in ninth place. Stuart Broad (up one place to 12th) among bowlers, and batsmen Jos Buttler (up one place to 69th) and Ollie Pope (125th), have also done well with regard to rankings.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli has conceded the top spot for batsmen just over a week after overtaking Steve Smith, failing to lift his team out of difficult situations in the Lord’s Test. The India captain played knocks of 23 and 17 even as his side succumbed for 107 and 130.

The low scores and one-sided loss have led to a fall in rankings for most India players with Ravichandran Ashwin the notable exception, moving up in the list for batsmen from 67th to 57th, with defiant innings of 29 and 33 not out. Ashwin has also leap-frogged South Africa’s Vernon Philander to grab the third position among all-rounders.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya has moved up 25 places to take 74th spot among bowlers.

Steve Smith  (Aus, 929 pts);  Virat Kohli (Ind, 919); Joe Root (Eng, 851); Kane Williamson  (NZ, 847); David Warner  (Aus, 820) are the top five batsmen in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings as on 13 August, following the Lord’s Test. India’s Cheteswar Pujara (759 pts) comes next. There is no other Indian in the top 20 list.

Englishman James Anderson, the wrecker of chief of India on their tour to England (903, points); Kagiso Rabada (SA, 882); out of favour Indian spinner Ravindra Jadeja  (849); Vernon Philander (SA,           826); and R. Ashwin  (Ind, 802) are the top five bowlers in the list issued by the ICC today (Monday).

Ashwin has also returned to the top five all-rounders list headed by Bangladesh veteran Shakib Al Hasan (420 points). Ravindra Jadeja   (Ind , 378); Ashwin (Ind, 374); V. Philander (SA, 370) and  Jason Holder (WI,  354) complete the five-man list.