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Friday, September 22, 2023

Smith surges ahead but Williamson tops in ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings

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Dubai: Australia batter Steve Smith has made rapid progress towards the top after the second England-Australia Test at Lord’s, but Kane Williamson has replaced Joe Root as number one in the ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings.

Smith’s ‘player of the match’ effort of 110 and 34 has lifted him four places to second position. Smith was last at the top in June 2021, when he had replaced Williamson for a couple of weeks before being overtaken again by the New Zealand batter.

Root, who could only manage scores 10 and 18, slipped to fifth position, allowing Williamson to regain the top spot. This is the sixth stint at the top for Williamson, who first attained number one position in November 2015 and was last at the top in August 2021.

The race for the top positions in the list is bound to remain interesting in the coming days as Smith is just one point behind Williamson’s 883 rating points after the latest weekly update, while third-placed Marnus Labuschagne (873) and Travis Head are also separated by just one point, according to ICC media release.

England batter Ben Duckett has shot up 24 places to reach the top 20 for the first time in his career after scores of 98 and 83 in the second Ashes Test while his captain Ben Stokes is up nine places to 23rd after a valiant 155 in the second innings.

Australia captain Pat Cummins has moved up to second position among bowlers after grabbing four wickets in the match while left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc is up two places to 14th with six scalps. Opener David Warner is 26th among batters after scores of 66 and 25 lifted him four places.

In the ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings, Ireland batter Harry Tector has inched up one slot to joint-sixth position after scoring 60 against Nepal in the seventh place play-off match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 in Harare. Scott Edwards of the Netherlands (up five places to 35th) and Pathum Nissanka of Sri Lanka (up eight places to 38th) are the other players to move up the batting rankings.

In the bowling rankings, Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, who picked up three wickets against the United Arab Emirates, is up five places to 24th.

Sri Lanka off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana (up 21 places to 32nd) and Scotland seam bowler Chris Sole (up 23 places to 39th) have also made notable progress after impressive performances in the Qualifier.

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