*ISLAMABAD - India captain Virat Kohli has returned to the top of the International Cricket Council’s test batting rankings following his man-of-the-match effort against England at Trent Bridge.*
The 29-year-old scored 97 and 103 and saw India beat England by 203 runs in the third test at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge on Wednesday as they reduced the hosts’ lead in a five-match series to 2-1.
Kohli took top spot in the rankings for the first time after scoring a hundred in the series opener at Edgbaston.
But he lost it to the banned Steve Smith after struggling in the second Test at Lord’s even though the former Australia captain has not played since March.
Smith was suspended for a year and stripped of the captaincy by Cricket Australia for his part in a ball-tampering scandal against South Africa, but his ranking points have not changed.
Kohli’s impressive display at Edgbaston, however, took him to 937 rating points, above Smith’s current mark of 929, in the latest edition of the ICC standings published on Thursday.
Meanwhile Australia’s David Warner, like Smith given a ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal, rose a place to fourth despite not playing.
England captain Joe Root dropped down to fifth after managing just 16 and 13 at Trent Bridge.
As well as raw figures, the ICC chart also aims to take into account factors such as the quality of the opposition.
Kohli, who has scored 440 runs so far in the England series, has now achieved the 11th highest all-time rating among Test batsmen and could move further up that list in the remaining two matches of the England series.
The top 10 is headed by Australia’s Donald Bradman (961 points), who is widely considered to be the greatest Test batsman cricket has known.
It also includes Smith (947), England’s Len Hutton (945) and Jack Hobbs (942), Australia’s Ricky Ponting (942) and England’s Peter May (941).
Meanwhile West Indies stars Gary Sobers, Clyde Walcott and Vivian Richards, as well as Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, all achieved a rating of 938 points.
England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker James Anderson remained top of the bowlers’ rankings.
Leading ICC Test player rankings (player, country, change in ranking, rating points):
01 (+1) Virat Kohli (IND) 937
02 (-1) Steve Smith (AUS) 929
03 (+1) Kane Willamson (NZL) 847
04 (+1) David Warner (AUS) 820
05 (-2) Joe Root (ENG) 818
06 (-) Cheteshwar Pujara (IND) 763
07 (-) Dimuth Karunaratne (SRI) 754
08 (-) Dinesh Chandimal (SRI) 733
09 (+1) Dean Elgar (RSA) 784
10 (+1) Aiden Markram (RSA) 703
01 (-) James Anderson (ENG) 899
02 (-) Kagiso Rabada (RSA) 882
03 (-) Ravindra Jadeja (IND) 840
04 (-) Vernon Philander (RSA) 826
05 (+1) Pat Cummins (AUS) 800
06 (+1) Trent Boult (NZL) 795
07 (-2) Ravichandran Ashwin (IND) 792
08 (-) Rangana Herath (SRI) 791
09 (-) Neil Wagner (NZL) 765
10 (-) Josh Hazlewood (AUS) 759 - APP/AFP