India skipper Virat Kohli has retained his number one position in the latest ICC Test batsmen's rankings. Kohli, who last featured in India's 2-1 Test series win over Australia, is sitting on 922 points. New Zealand's Kane Williamson (913) is second and Cheteshwar Pujara (881) third in the rankings released on Monday.
In the team rankings, India remains in the first place followed by New Zealand (2) and South Africa (3) with England (4) and Australia (5) rounding up the top five.
In the bowlers' list, two Indians feature in the top 10 with Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin holding the sixth and 10th spot respectively.
England pace spearhead James Anderson has been ruled out of the four-day Test against Ireland starting on Wednesday due to a right calf injury. Had the 36-year-old played the one-off Test, the second-placed bowler would have got a chance to bridge the 16-point gap to Australia's Pat Cummins.
Anderson was overtaken by South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada (ranked third) in November last year and subsequently by current No 1 Cummins. In the all-rounders' list, Jadeja is the best-ranked Indian at the third spot. The left-arm spinner sits behind West Indies' Jason Holder and Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh.
India's tour of West Indies where India will play two away tests will kick off the ICC Test Championship. Kohli will be the skipper for India. The aim is to give greater context to a bilateral test series. In essence, the Test Championship is the World Cup of Test cricket with the only difference being that it will go on for a span of two years. With the commencement of the championship, ICC and fans will hope to see teams playing test matches with greater intent and with more to play for.
Test cricket will come to a full circle as the first match of the Championship will be played between England and Australia, from August 1 to 5 at Edgbaston Cricket Ground – fittingly enough between the two traditional rivals who have played the first officially recognised Test match way back in 1877 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).