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Williamson Breathing Down Kohli's Neck in Latest ICC Rankings

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: December 11, 2018, 2:17 PM IST
Williamson Breathing Down Kohli's Neck in Latest ICC Rankings


Kane Williamson has become the first New Zealand batsman and 32nd overall to break the 900-point barrier in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen following a stellar performance in the third Test against Pakistan.

Williamson shone with the bat in Abu Dhabi, scoring 89 and 139 in the final Test against Pakistan that New Zealand won to secure their first series win against the Asian team in 49 years.

His showing with the bat meant Williamson won the Player of the Match award and also earned 37 points in the latest player rankings, which saw him leapfrog Steve Smith into second position on a career-high 913 points.

Meanwhile, the number-one ranked Virat Kohli managed to score only 3 and 34 in his side’s 31-run victory over Australia at the Adelaide Oval. As a result, Kohli is now only seven points ahead of Williamson.

With Williamson inching closer to Kohli, the India captain will be under pressure to perform well with the bat in the second Test starting in Perth from Friday.

Should he not, he could potentially lose his number-one ranking he has been holding since the Edgbaston Test against England in August.

There was some good news for Indian fans as Cheteshwar Pujara’s knocks of 123 and 71 at Adelaide saw him move ahead of Joe Root and David Warner in fourth position. He trails the third-ranked Smith by 55 points, and leads Root by 39 points.

India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah achieved a career-high ranking of 33rd, after his 3/47 and 3/68 helped him to rise five places.

Nathan Lyon of Australia, who took eight wickets in the Test, has consolidated his 14th position while reducing the gap with 13th ranked Neil Wagner from 34 points to eight points.

The other two notable movers from the Adelaide Test are Ajinkya Rahane in 17th (up by two places) and Mitchell Starc in 16th (up by two places).

There was more good news for New Zealand cricketers in the rankings as Henry Nicholls broke into the top 10 for the first time in his career.

Nicholls scored 126 not out in the second innings and stitched a 212-run fifth wicket partnership with Williamson as New Zealand set Pakistan a 280-run target after having conceded a 74-run first innings lead.

For this performance, Nicholls has jumped from 17th to ninth by rising eight places to become his side’s second batsman inside the top-10.

BJ Watling has also made an upward movement and is now ranked 22nd after gaining four places.

Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, who scored centuries for Pakistan in the first innings, have made small gains. Azhar has moved up two places to 10th, while Asad is now 21st after rising one place.
First Published: December 11, 2018, 12:19 PM IST

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1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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