Steven Smith reclaims top batsmen status

Credit: Sky Sports Still

Australia’s Steven Smith has reclaimed the number one position in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen after producing a man of the match performance in the second Ashes Test against England in Lord’s.

Smith, who scored a career high 215 and then 58 to inspire Australia to a 405-run victory on Sunday, has overtaken AB de Villiers at the top of the rankings and he now holds a commanding 28-point advantage over the prolific South African. There was also a career high gain for Chris Rogers whose Test top score of 173 and 49 not out have vaulted the 37-year-old 12 places into ninth on 793 points, 20 behind New Zealand’s Kane Williamson. David Warner remains in 10th, while skipper Michael Clarke has dropped three places to 20th.

For England, Joe Root has dropped two places to sixth, though Alastair Cook has improved his ranking by two places and now lies in 18th place after scoring 96 and 11 in the match. There were also a gain for Ben Stokes (up three to a career high 32nd) after scoring 87 runs in the first innings.

In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Mitchell Johnson has climbed three places to fourth after claiming six wickets for 80 runs in the match and he has Pakistan’s Yasir Shah in his sights. The left-arm paceman has now claimed 299 wickets in 68 Tests to date and he will be eyeing up a significant milestone in the third Test in Edgbaston. If Johnson passes 300 wickets he will become only the fifth Australian to do so after Shane Warne (in second place on the all-time list on 708 wickets), Glenn McGrath (in fourth place on 563), Dennis Lillee (in 20th place on 355) and Brett Lee (in 25th place on 310). Johnson currently lies in 28th place overall, eight wickets behind former England fast bowling great Fred Trueman.

Josh Hazlewood has moved up four places to a career high 17th after claiming five wickets for 88 runs in the match, while Mitchell Marsh has risen 20 places to 100th after taking three wickets for 31 runs. England’s Stuart Broad is unchanged in fifth place on 800 points, though James Anderson has fallen four places to sixth, though Joe Root has moved up five places to a career high 77th.

The all-rounder rankings remain the same with Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh continuing to lead the way by 40 points over South Africa’s Vernon Philander.

The third Test starts at Edgbaston on Wednesday, 29 July.