Kohli jumps four places to 15th in Test rankings

Dubai, Dec 31 (IANS) Indian batsman Virat Kohli jumped four places to 15th in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings released here Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Kohli rode on scores of 169 and 54 in the third Test against Australia. Another batsman who has benifitted most from the drawn Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), is Australia captain Steven Smith. The 25-year-old scored a Test best 192 in the first innings to gain two places and claimed fifth spot for the first time.
Smith now trails No.1 ranked AB de Villiers, who has regained the top spot from Kumar Sangakkara, by 40 points.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who scored 195 against Sri Lanka in the first Test, has achieved a career-best 12th position by climbing two places.

Also moving upward are Australian Chris Rogers (24th, up by four places), Ajinkya Rahane (26th, up by 15 places), Kraigg Brathwaite (37th, up by 11 places), Marlon Samuels (37th, up by seven places) and Dean Elgar (50th, up by 13 places).

In the bowlers rankings, Australia’s Ryan Harris has moved up two places to second following his six wickets at the MCG, while Trent Boult has achieved a best-ever ranking of seventh after rising two places. Boult had figures of three for 25 and four for 100 in the first Test at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Bowler outside the top 20 and moving in the right direction include Neil Wagner (22nd, up by two places), Umesh Yadav (36th, up by eight places), Mohammad Shami (38th, up by eight places), Josh Hazlewood (53rd, up by 16 places) and Imran Tahir (58th, up by six places).

Dale Steyn has retained his number-one ranking and is ahead of Harris by 54 ratings points.

There is no change to the top five in the rankings for all-Rounders. Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan leads the field, followed by Vernon Philander of South Africa and India’s Ravichandran Ashwin.

Meanwhile, South Africa are just a draw away from retaining the Test Championship mace and with it winning a cash award of $500,000. If South Africa draw the Cape Town Test and Australia win in Sydney, then South Africa will finish on 122 points, compared to Australia’s 119 points.

However, if the West Indies win in Cape Town Test and Australia win in Sydney, then Australia will finish ahead of South Africa by a fraction of a point (0.2).

The side that will finish second will pocket $390,000, while England and Pakistan have been guaranteed $280,000 and $170,000 after sealing third and fourth positions, respectively, following the Christchurch Test result.