Smith closes in on Bradman’s feat in ICC Test rankings
Dubai, Dec 19 (IANS) A day after guiding Australia to regain the Ashes urn, skipper Steven Smith consolidated his stay atop the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings as he inched closer to batting great Don Bradman’s highest-ever rankings points.
Smith’s match-winning 239 in the third Test against England at the WACA in Perth, helped his team reclaim the Ashes by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match rubber.
The 28-year-old’s second Test double ton has taken his tally to 945 rating points, helping him share the second spot in the all-time list, along with England great Len Hutton.
Smith is now within 16 points of Bradman’s tally of 961 points, and has had a minimum of 918 points over the past 12 months, which is 25 more than what second-placed Virat Kohli has as of now.
His batting average of 62.32 is second only to Bradman in terms of batsmen with at least 20 Test innings and by the time the fourth Test of the series starts on Boxing Day, he would have been the number one for two years.
Smith is already ahead of Bradman with regard to the number of Tests at the top. He has now been number one for 114 Tests, which is the fifth-most in a list led by Gary Sobers (189 Tests) and with Viv Richards (179), Brian Lara (140) and Sachin Tendulkar (139) the only ones ahead of him in this list.
Among others to move northward in the rankings list are India’s Cheteshwar Pujara (up by one place to No.3) and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, who also rose a spot to No.4.
England skipper Joe Root, however, slipped two rungs to occupy the No.5 spot.
Among the bowlers, England veteran James Anderson continued to lead the table followed by South African Kagiso Rabada (No.2) and the Indian duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin at No.3 and 4 respectively.
Aussie paceman Josh Hazlewood moved up a place to No.5 as he swapped places with Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.
There were no changes in the Test all-rounders list with Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan leading the list.