There’s a new No 1 Test batsman in town + Proteas players on the rise

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New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has overtaken Australia’s Steve Smith and India captain Virat Kohli to be the No 1 Test batsman in the world in the latest ICC Test rankings.

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Williamson leaped from third to first after his player-of-the-match effort leading the Black Caps to a 101-run victory over Pakistan this week, scoring 129 in the first innings and a rapid 21 in the second when New Zealand were building a lead before declaring. 

The New Zealand skipper described it as “humbling” to overtake Smith, who held the top spot for 313 days this year, and Kohli, who was No 1 for 51 days.

Smith slipped to third in the ICC rankings behind Kohli following scores of nought and eight in Australia’s second Test against India while Kohli was on paternity leave.

“They are incredible players of our generation,” Williamson said as he arrived in Christchurch ahead of the second Pakistan Test which starts on Sunday.

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

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All three players were this week named in the ICC’s team of the decade with Smith also named as the individual Test player of the decade. Kohli took the award for the best one-day player.

FAF DU PLESSIS WAS THE BIG SA MOVER

Meanwhile, Faf du Plessis was the big mover from a Proteas standpoint in the latest ICC Test rankings.

Following his 199 in the first Test against Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park in Centurion, Du Plessis jumped from 34th place to 21st.

Dean Elgar moved from 24th to 20th, Aiden Markram from 27th to 24th and Temba Bavuma is up from 63rd to 57th.

Skipper Quinton de Kock remains South Africa’s highest ranked Test batsman in 13th place.

TOP 10 IN THE LATEST ICC TEST BATSMEN RANKINGS:

Under ranking, player, country, rating, Test average

1. Kane Williamson (NZ) 890 – 52.90    
2. Virat Kohli (India) 879 – 53.41    
3. Steve Smith (Aus) 877 – 61.33    
4. Marnus Labuschagne (Aus) 850 – 58.81    
5. Babar Azam (Pak) 789 – 45.44    
6. Ajinkya Rahane (India) 784 – 43.40    
7. David Warner (Aus) 777 – 48.94    
8. Ben Stokes (Eng) 760 – 37.84    
9. Joe Root (Eng) 738 – 47.99    
10. Cheteshwar Pujara (India) 728 – 47.60    

Others:

13. Quinton de Kock (SA) 692

20. Dean Elgar (SA) 639

21. Faf du Plessis (SA) 638

24. Aiden Markram (SA) 621

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