MUMBAI: Virat Kohli’s career-best 254 not out in India’s second Test win over South Africa in Pune has vaulted him back above the 900-point mark in the ICC rankings for Test batsmen, and has put him within touching distance of top-ranked Steven Smith.
Kohli’s tally stands at 936 points, while Smith sits on 937. The India captain will have the opportunity to regain the top spot, which Smith wrested from him on his return to Test cricket in the 2019 Ashes, when India face South Africa in the third Test in Ranchi, starting October 19.
Among the bowlers in action in Pune, R Ashwin moved from tenth to seventh, having picked up six wickets in the innings-and-137-run win inside four days, which helped India get a winning 2-0 lead in the series.
Kohli overcame a mini-slump on the way to his first triple-figure score in Test cricket in 2019. After the first Test – which India had won by 203 runs – Kohli had fallen below 900 rating points for the first time since January 2018.
Ashwin followed his seven-for in the first innings of the first Test with another good show in the second, to move ahead of Vernon Philander on the bowlers’ table. Philander fell three places and is now sitting on eighth.
Other players who made significant movements included India opener Mayank Agarwal, who followed a double-century in the first Test with a century in the second to rise to a career-high 17th spot. Umesh Yadav, who was making a comeback to the Test side, took six wickets and jumped six places to at 25th spot.