NEW DELHI, December 31
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson enters the New Year as the top-ranked Test batsman after leapfrogging Australia’s Steve Smith and India skipper Virat Kohli in the latest official rankings issued today. Williamson, who returned from paternity leave this month, hit a match-winning century in the opening Test against Pakistan to help New Zealand win.
Smith is in the middle of a rare slump in form and dropped behind Kohli after registering four single-digit scores at the halfway stage of the ongoing four-Test series against India. Kohli, who topscored for India in their eight-wicket thrashing by Australia in the series opener, has returned home for the birth of his first child.
India’s stand-in skipper, Ajinkya Rahane, jumped to No. 6 after his hundred in the second Test inspired the tourists to a series-levelling victory.
Australia’s Pat Cummins remains the top-ranked Test bowler, while compatriot Mitchell Starc jumped two places to enter the top-five. India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (seventh) and quick Jasprit Bumrah (ninth) improved their top-10 positions. — Reuters