The International Cricket Council (ICC), the global governing body of cricket, on Monday released the latest Test rankings, which saw Australia's Steve Smith take the top spot with Virat Kohli taking the second spot in the batting list.
The test rankings were released at the back of the recently concluded Ashes series, which ended in a draw. Steve Smith scored 774 runs in the four matches with an average of 110.57 and the highest score of 211. Smith is leading the list with 937 points and has a gap of 34 points over second-placed Virat Kohli. Smith's magnificent performance during the series was reflected in the rankings since he was fourth on the list with 857 points at the start of the Ashes series. The test rankings are updated after every match, and Virat will have a chance to reclaim his place during the Test matches against South Africa.
Smith did not play cricket for a year since March 2018 as he was banned by Cricket Australia (CA) for his involvement in the 'sand-paper gate' incident wherein the Australian players were conspired of using sandpaper to modify the ball during the series against South Africa. However, he has made a strong return to international cricket, scoring 379 runs at the ICC World Cup and was also recognized as Australia's Man of the series and also awarded the Compton-Miller medal for his performances. In his absence, the highest run-getter in Tests for Australia was Travis Head with 663 runs, and he was overtaken by Smith in just four tests.
The bowler's Test ranking list saw Pat Cummins consolidate his place at the top of the list with 908 points. He has a 57 points lead over second-placed Kagiso Rabada.
For Australia, Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh were the other players who made significant gains with their performances, whereas David Warner dropped by 19 positions to 24 on the list over the five test matches, where he scored a grand total of 95 runs in 10 innings.
For England, fast bowler Jofra Archer made into the top-40 for the first time after finishing the series as the third-highest wicket-taker with 22 wickets. He made his test debut in the second match at Lords.