Steve Smith, Virat Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli is two points away from overtaking Steve Smith as the No. 1 Test batsman in the ICC rankings after smashing a career-best 254 not out against South Africa in Pune.

Smith is currently at the top with 937 points while Kohli has 936 points.

Kohli scored his first Test hundred this year and his seventh Test double ton as India thrashed South Africa by an innings and 137 runs in the second game of the Freedom Series.

Captain Kohli had claimed the No. 1 rank and had occupied the spot for a while as Smith was serving out a 1-year ban due to his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal.

However, Smith reclaimed the top spot during the Ashes series against England recently. He amassed 774 runs at a Bradman-Esque average of 110.57 in the five-match series despite missing the fourth Test due to a delayed concussion.

On the other hand, Kohli had an average Test series in the West Indies and after the first Test against South Africa in Vizag, his points tally dropped below 900 for the first time since January 2018.

Opener Mayank Agarwal, who notched up his second Test hundred in the Pune Test, also moved up in the rankings to break into the top 20. Agarwal scored a brilliant 108 to combine with Kohli and set up an easy win by an innings and 137 runs for India. He has now jumped eight places to take the 17th position in the rankings.

Meanwhile, Kohli’s deputy Ajinkya Rahane has moved up to the 9th spot after his crucial 59-run knock in the second Test.

Test-batting-rankings
Source: ICC