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Virat Kohli closes in on Steve Smith as Test cricket’s top-ranked batsman

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Virat Kohli’s career-best 254 not out in the second Test against South Africa has taken him within a point of Australia’s Steve Smith as Test cricket’s top batsman in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings.

Kohli broke several records during the course of his Pune epic. Not only did he hit his seventh Test double-century, a new Indian record, he also went past 7,000 Test runs, becoming the joint fourth-fastest ever to the landmark (in terms of innings). The efforts have taken him up to 936 rating points, just one below Smith, who displaced the Indian captain to reclaim the top spot during this summer’s Ashes.

It also means that Kohli has gone past the 900 mark again, having got there in January 2018 before falling below the mark after the first Test against South Africa. He has the chance to overtake Smith again, when India face South Africa in the third Test in Ranchi, starting on October 19.

Among the other heroes from India’s innings victory in Pune, off-spinner R Ashwin rose from 10th position to seventh in the bowling rankings, after snaring six wickets in the game. Mayank Agarwal, who notched up his second successive century, on the back of his Visakhapatnam double, rose to a career-best 17th place in the batting rankings, while Umesh Yadav, who took six wickets in his comeback Test, climbed to the 25th position in the bowlers’ spots.

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