Kohli’s reign continues as Labuschagne breaks into top 5 in Tests

Dubai, Dec 16 (IANS) India skipper Virat Kohli has maintained his numero uno spot in the latest ICC Test Rankings for batsmen. Kohli, had in the first week of December, reclaimed the top spot from Australia’s Steve Smith after the latter took the top spot post his Ashes heroics.The 31-year-old, who had struck 136 in the Day-Night Kolkata Test against Bangladesh last month to reach 928 points, is now 17 points ahead of Smith who returned with scores of 43 and 16 in the first Test against New Zealand which Australia won by 296 runs. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have also maintained their respective 4th and 6th spot in the rankings where Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne and Babar Azam have moved upwards. Labuschagne, who narrowly missed joining Pakistan’s Zaheer Abbas and Mudassar Nazar in scoring at least 150 in three successive Test innings, has gained three slots to occupy fifth place. He has overtaken compatriot David Warner and is the second-highest ranked Australia batsman after Steve Smith. Azam has reached the top 10 for the first time, moving from 13th to ninth position after his unbeaten knock of 102 in the drawn Rawalpindi Test against Sri Lanka. He is currently No.1 in the T20I rankings and has enjoyed a best ranking of second in the ODIs.In the ICC World Test Championship, Australia are on 216 points in the points table led by India while New Zealand remain on 60.Pakistan and Sri Lanka got 20 points each for the draw. Sri Lanka are on 80 points, having drawn a preceding two-match series against New Zealand to get 60 points, while Pakistan have their first points after having lost both Tests of their recent series in Australia.–IANSaak/bbh

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