Virat Kohli, India maintain top spot in ICC Test rankings

Indian skipper Virat Kohli continued to maintain the numero-uno spot in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Test rankings for the batsmen released on Saturday. Kohli is leading the batting chart in the longest format of the game with 922 points, with New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (913) and Cheteshwar Pujara (881) standing at the second and third spots, respectively in the rankings list.

In the Test team rankings, India retained their top position with 113 points. The Kohli-led side is being closely followed by New Zealand, who are placed second with 111 points. South Africa, England (4) and Australia (5) round off the top five.

Following the conclusion of the one-off Test between England and Ireland at Lord’s on Friday, the players of the two sides have also seen a jump in their positions in the ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings.

England players Sam Curran and Jack Leach have made significant gains after a 143-run victory over Ireland in their one-off Test at Lord’s even as they prepare to host Australia for the Ashes series starting on Thursday.

In a low-scoring Test that saw Ireland earn the early honours, spinner Leach’s knock of 92 on being promoted to open the innings after coming in at No.11 in the first innings, has seen him not only win the Player of the Match award but also gain 57 places to reach 117th position.

Curran has gained in all three lists, moving up three places to 52nd among batsmen after scores of 18 and 37 and advancing six places to 67th with a first-innings haul of three for 28. His efforts have also lifted him eight places to 23rd among all-rounders.

Stuart Broad has moved up one place to 18th after finishing with seven wickets in the match, while Chris Woakes’s second innings haul of 6/17 has helped him retain 33rd position among bowlers.

Ireland, who ensured a dramatic start to the four-day Test as they bowled England out for only 85, saw quite a few of their bowlers move up the rankings. New-ball bowler Tim Murtagh has gained 25 places to reach 41st position after his impressive haul of 5/13 in the first innings while Stuart Thompson (up 11 places to 53rd) and Boyd Rankin (up 21 places to 84th) have advanced in the bowlers’ list.

As far as Indian bowlers are concerned, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin are at sixth and 10th place, respectively.

In the ranking for batsmen, Andy Balbirnie (up 27 places to 115th), Paul Stirling (up 18 places to 144th) and opener James McCollum (up eight places to 147th) have made their way up.

England’s players will get a chance to improve their rankings in the upcoming Ashes when they take on some of the best in the business.

England captain Joe Root slipped a place to seventh after the Test against Ireland but will be hoping to work his way towards the top while new-ball bowler James Anderson will be looking to wrest back the top place from Australia’s Pat Cummins after missing the one-off Test at Lord’s.

Australia’s Steve Smith and David Warner, currently in fourth and sixth positions, too have the chance of improving their rankings, while Nathan Lyon will be looking to move up again after being overtaken by Broad.

In the upcoming Ashes, Australia will have a chance to overtake England to the fourth position with a series win while England can gain up to six points and move up the table.