For the first time in his career, India skipper Virak Kohli has emerged as the No 1 Test batsman. Though his brilliant effort at Edgbaston in the first Test against Englad failed to help India to win the match, it paid off well for him.
According to latest ICC Test rankings, Kohli has gone past former Australian captain Steven Smith as No.1 Test batsman. Kohli became the seventh India batsman and first since Sachin Tendulkar in June 2011, to top the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsman.
Kohli, who held the second spot since December 2015, took a lead of five points over the former Australia captain, who is serving a one-year suspension from international cricket following the ball-tampering scandal in March earlier this year.
The latest rankings were released a day after the conclusion of the Edgbaston Test in which the Indian captain scored 149 and 51 in two innings, but failed to lead his side to a victory. This helped him to end Steve Smith’s 32-month reign as the top-ranked batsman and reach the top of the summit for the first time in his 67-Test career.
Meanwhile, at 934 points, Kohli has become India’s highest-ranked batsman, 14th overall, on the all-time tally of points. Kohli had entered the Edgbaston Test on 903 points, 13 points behind Gavaskar, and is now ahead of the ICC Cricket Hall of Famer by 18 points.
Kohli scored 149 and 51 in India’s 31-run defeat and has gone up by 31 points, Kohli now leads Smith by five points, but will have to maintain the form in the remaining four Tests to finish the series as the world’s highest-ranked batsman.
Apart from Kohli and Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag and Dilip Vengsarkar are the other India batsmen to have achieved number-one rankings during their careers.