Vodafone Test Series v India
Smith runs in Sydney see him narrow gap to Williamson
Steve Smith's 212 runs in the SCG Test have lifted him above absent India captain Virat Kohli on the ICC's official Test batting ranks
12 January 2021, 04:54 PM AEST
Steve Smith's player-of-the-match performance at the SCG has seen him leapfrog Virat Kohli into second place on the official Test batting rankings but the Australia still trails New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.
Smith scored 131 and 81 in the drawn third Vodafone Test in Sydney, a performance that saw him move ahead of Kohli on 900 rating points, 19 points behind Williamson, who posted 238 against Pakistan in Christchurch.
Williamson's tally of 919 points is the highest by any New Zealand batter ever, four more than the previous best of 915, also set by the Kiwi skipper in December 2018.
Smith wasn't the only Australian to move up the rankings, with fast bowler Josh Hazlewood climbing three places to be the fifth-ranked Test bowler in the world.
Hazlewood claimed figures of 4-82 against India to replace teammate Mitch Starc at No.5 (Starc had dropped to No.8) while Pat Cummins' five wickets at the SCG saw him edge further clear at the top of the Test bowling rankings.
Marnus Labuschagne, who produced scores of 91 and 73 in Sydney, is now only four ranking points shy of Kohli in third place, and another good outing at the Gabba – his home turf – in the fourth Test could see him surpass the India superstar.
While individual rankings are updated after every Test, the team rankings are updated at the conclusion of each series.
With Australia and India locked at 1-1, the outcome of the fourth and final Test will have significant implications on the rankings.
A win to Tim Paine's men will see them regain the No.1 ranking on 119 rating points, one clear of New Zealand, who took top spot for the first time after their 2-0 series win over Pakistan.
However, an India win will move them up to second and Australia to third on 113 points, while a draw will see no change to the table.
The fourth Vodafone Test starts in Brisbane on Friday.
Vodafone Test Series v India 2020-21
Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner
India Test squad: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan
First Test: Australia won by eight wickets
Second Test: India won by eight wickets
Third Test: Match drawn
Fourth Test: January 15-19, Gabba, 11am AEDT