Steven Smith moves to No. 2 in Test rankings for batsmen

ICC news August 19, 2019

Steven Smith has leapfrogged Kane Williamson to second place on the ICC Test rankings for batsmen after amassing 378 runs in three innings at an average of 126 in the ongoing Ashes series. Pat Cummins, meanwhile, has consolidated his place at the top of the bowlers rankings to such an extent that only four men have ever accumulated more rating points than the 914 he has now. (Sydney Barnes 932, George Lohmann 931, Imran Khan 922, Muttiah Muralitharan 920, if you were curious)

Much of the focus though remains on Smith who is in a race against time to be fit for the third Ashes Test at Headingley after sustaining a 'mild concussion' after taking a Jofra Archer bouncer to the neck. Despite being out of international cricket for a year, he has reduced the gap to the No. 1 spot - currently occupied by Virat Kohli - to just nine points. England captain Joe Root has dropped to ninth place from sixth.

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Marnus Labuschagne, who had stepped in as Test cricket's first concussion substitute after Smith was withdrawn from the Lord's Test, vaulted 16 places to 82nd among batsmen. Labuschange, too, was struck on the hemlet by Archer, but soldiered on to make a gritty 59 that was central to Australia saving the Test.

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Ben Stokes, who struck 115 off 165 balls in England's second innings at Lord's, jumped from 32nd to 26th among batsmen while opener Rory Burns gained 17 places to 64th. Burns had followed his century at Edgbaston with a first-innings 53 at Lord's.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne broke into the top ten after his fourth-innings 122 handed Sri Lanka 60 points in their first World Test Championship match, against New Zealand in Galle. Karunaratne moved from 12th to eighth while New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel jumped 14 places to 61st among bowlers after claiming a match haul of six wickets in the Galle Test.

Among the other bowlers in action over the past week, Archer, who created such an impact on debut, entered the rankings in 83rd place, while Jack Leach, also impressive at Lord's, moved up eight spots to No. 40. And after Sri Lanka's win in Galle, Akila Dananjaya, who picked up five wickets in the first innings, has gone up to 36th position on the table.

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