JOHANNESBURG - India captain Virat Kohli has moved up three places to grab second position among batsmen in the ICC Test batting rankings, after registering his career-best score in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka, which ended in a draw in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Kohli’s first-innings knock of 243 was followed with 50 as he finished with 610 runs in the series, which India won 1-0.
Kohli, who slammed back-to-back double-centuries and recorded three-figure scores in three consecutive matches, started the series in sixth position but has leapfrogged David Warner, Cheteshwar Pujara, Kane Williamson and Joe Root after the stupendous run which saw him average 152.50.
Though 45 points separate him from Australia captain Steve Smith, Kohli would be eyeing the chance of reaching the zenith in all three formats since he is the current No 1 in ODIs and T20Is.
Smith though has been in a different league and last week reached 941 points, the joint fifth-highest in terms of the highest points tally in batting history in Tests. Smith is now on 938 points while Kohli is on 893 points.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting is the only batsman to have been at the top in all three formats at the same time – in December-January 2005-06, while his compatriot Matthew Hayden is the other batsman to have topped all three formats.
Though Smith enjoys a substantial lead over Kohli, the competition for second to fifth positions remains intense.
Before this Test, only 11 points separated second-ranked Pujara from fifth-ranked Kohli. Following the latest performances, the gap has increased slightly with 28 points now separating second-ranked Kohli from fifth-ranked Williamson.
In the latest rankings, which also take into account the second Test between Australia and England in Adelaide and the first Test in Wellington in which New Zealand defeated the Windies, opener Murali Vijay (up three places to 25th) and middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma (up six places to 40th) are the other India batsmen to move up.
England captain Joe Root has retained his third spot after scores of nine and 67 in Adelaide and Mark Stoneman has gained 18 slots to take 83rd position. Chris Woakes has moved up five places among bowlers to reach 28th position after finishing with five wickets in the match.
In the ICC Test Team Rankings, India have lost one point but remain well ahead of South Africa at the top of the rankings, while Sri Lanka remains on their pre-series tally of 94 points in sixth place.