Dubai: After leading India to an unassailable 2-0 lead in the five-match Test rubber against England, skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday vaulted to a career best third spot in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings for Test batsmen released here.
The 28-year-old Kohli, who scored 62 and six not out to help India crush England by 8 wickets in the third Test against England at Mohali, moved to 833 points, within 14 points of second-ranked England’s Joe Root in a list led by Australia captain Steve Smith.
Starting the series in 15th position, Kohli has risen at a fast pace scoring 405 runs in the three Tests against England, according to an ICC release.
Kohli, who is top-ranked in Twenty20 internationals and second in One-Day Internationals, looks determined to top the table in Tests, the only format in which he has never been top-ranked.
The remaining two Tests provide more opportunity to Kohli, who had led India to victory in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia in 2008.
England’s Jonny Bairstow has also reached a career best ranking of 9th — a leap of three places with knocks of 89 and 15 while Australia opener Usman Khawaja has moved up nine places to 19th after a match-winning knock of 145 that helped Australia win the day-night final Test against South Africa in Adelaide by seven wickets.
For South Africa, Faf du Plessis’s innings of 118 not out and 12 have helped him move up eight positions to 23rd rank while opener Stephen Cook has moved up 30 places to a career best 44th position after scoring 40 and 104 in Adelaide.
New Zealander Ross Taylor has moved up four places to take the 18th slot after scores of 37 and 102 not out in New Zealand’s 138 run victory over Pakistan in Hamilton.
In the ICC rankings for Test bowlers, India’s Mohammad Shami has moved up two places to a career best 19th position in the list led by his teammate Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ashwin’s spin partner Ravindra Jadeja occupies the 7th spot.
Australia pace bowler Josh Hazlewood has moved into the top five for the first time in his career after taking six wickets in Adelaide. He has moved up four places to take fifth position.
Meanwhile, in the list of all-rounders, Jadeja has gained two slots to reach a career best fourth slot after scoring a crucial 90 in his only innings in Mohali.
Ashwin has consolidated his position at the top with 493 points, a tally not reached by anyone since retired South Africa player Jacques Kallis in 2008.