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Kohli displaces Smith to reclaim top spot in Test rankings
ICC Test Rankings

Kohli displaces Smith to reclaim top spot in Test rankings

Virat Kohli has returned to the summit of the ICC Test rankings for batsmen after Steve Smith dropped to No. 2 following his poor run in the two-match series against Pakistan.

Kohli, who had narrowed the gap with the previously top-ranked Smith to just a single rating point with an epic double century against South Africa in September, scored a fine 136 in India's maiden day-night Test against Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, Smith accumulated only 40 runs in the two innings he batted during the home series versus Pakistan.

Smith was dismissed on four by Yasir Shah in Brisbane and was caught-behind off Shaheen Afridi in the subsequent game at the Adelaide Oval.

The former Australia skipper made an emphatic comeback to Test cricket following his one-year exile due to ball-tampering.

He overtook Kohli to become the top batsman in the world with an incredible run spree during the Ashes series in England that saw him rack up 774 runs in seven innings.

Smith will have another chance to surpass Kohli as Australia will host New Zealand for a three-match Test series while the Kohli-led India have their next red-ball assignment in February 2020.

Opening batsman David Warner has climbed 12 places to the No. 5 spot after recording the second-highest Test score by an Australian with an unbeaten 335 against Pakistan. His mammoth knock followed a remarkable 154 in the first Test.

Marnus Labuschagne has soared in the rankings to occupy the No. 8 position with contributions of 185 and 162 in the successive innings victories over Pakistan.

Labuschagne was initially included in the Australian side in the second Ashes Test as a concussion replacement for Smith, who copped a blow to the head off Jofra Archer's fiery bouncer.

He earned a permanent place in the playing XI even with the return of Smith with a slew of fifties against England.

Among other batters to enjoy gains in the rankings, Babar Azam has reached a career-best No. 13 whereas England skipper Joe Root is back in the top 10, days after slipping to the 11th slot.

There has not been much movement in the rankings for bowlers except an elevation of one spot each for Josh Hazlewood, Vernon Philander and Jason Holder in the top 10.

Mitchell Starc's six wickets in Adelaide have landed him on the 14th position - an improvement of four places.