India skipper Virat Kohli, on Sunday, jumped up one place and surpassed Australia’s Steve Smith to become the No.1 batsman in ICC Test Rankings. He has become only the seventh Indian and first since Sachin Tendulkar in June 2011, to take the pole position. Kohli, who held the second spot since December 2015, took a lead of five points over the former Australia captain, who is serving a one-year suspension from international cricket following the ball-tampering scandal in March earlier this year.
The latest rankings were released a day after the conclusion of the Edgbaston Test in which the Indian captain scored 149 and 51 in two innings, but failed to lead his side to a victory. Despite India losing the first Test by 31 runs, Kohli’s performance saw him reaching the top position in Test batting rankings.
Apart from Kohli and Tendulkar, the other Indian batsmen who have reached the number-one rankings in the longest format were Rahul Dravid, Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag and Dilip Vengsarkar. But at 934 points, the current India captain has become the highest-ranked India batsman on the all-time tally of points.
Overall, he is currently in the 14th position in the all-time tally of points. If he can maintain his form and deliver another strong performance with the bat at Lord’s in the second Test, the right-handed batsman can surpass Matthew Hayden, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers to enter the top-10 in the list.
Speaking to reporters after the match on Saturday, Kohli had stressed that he is disappointed about losing the match as he is not focused on personal achievements. “When the focus is on the larger picture, these things don’t matter. Back in the day, I used to think about playing in different conditions, different countries, but when you become captain it’s about taking your team across the line,” he said.