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Williamson overtakes Smith, Kohli to become No. 1 Test batsman
ICC Rankings

Williamson overtakes Smith, Kohli to become No. 1 Test batsman

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has leapfrogged Steve Smith and Virat Kohli to claim the number one spot in the updated ICC Test rankings for batsmen released on Thursday.

Williamson has risen from the third position to the first on the back of his Man-of-the-Match performance against Pakistan in the first Test in Mount Maunganui.

The 30-year-old smashed 129 in the first innings and followed it up with a rapid 21 in the second to help New Zealand script a 101-run win in the dying moments of day five.

Williamson finishes the year 2020 as the fourth-leading run-getter with a tally of 498 runs from four Test matches at an average of 83.

The New Zealand captain described it as "humbling" to surpass Smith and Kohli, who were recently named the ICC Test player of the decade and the ICC player of the decade respectively.

Williamson was last No. 1 in 2015 before Smith and Kohli have dominated the top slot. "They are incredible players of our generation," Williamson reacted to the news of his promotion after arriving in Christchurch ahead of the second Pakistan Test.

"Those two players are the best so for me to sneak up perhaps in some way, is very surprising and humbling."

Smith has slipped to third in the standings for Test batsmen following a miserable run in the ongoing India Test series with scores of 1, 1*, 0 and 8 across four innings. Kohli is currently on paternity leave and will not be taking part in the remainder of the four-match series.

All three players, considered to be a part of the famous 'fab four' also featuring Joe Root, were included in ICC's Test team of the decade.

Elsewhere, Ajinkya Rahane advanced five spots to hold onto No. 6 after his match-winning contribution of 112 while leading the side in the absence of Kohli.

Pakistan's stand-in skipper Mohammad Rizwan has progressed 27 places to a career-best 47th position following his nuggety knocks of 71 and 60.

On the bowlers front, the top four remain unchanged as Pat Cummins heads the roster whereas his teammate Mitchell Starc's four wickets at the MCG have allowed him to take the career best-equalling fifth slot.

Ravichandran Ashwin's fine bowling display has seen him gain two more spots to earn the No. 7 position, making him the only spinner in the top 10.