Freedom Trophy 2019
Kohli closes gap on Smith in Test batting rankings
India captain's career-best double-century in Pune has him eyeing the top position again
15 October 2019, 01:20 PM AEST
The battle between Steve Smith and Virat Kohli for the mantle of world’s No.1 Test batsman has intensified after the India maestro hammered a breathtaking double century in Pune.
Kohli’s career-best knock of 254 not out moved him to within one point of Australia great in the latest ICC Test batting rankings.
The India skipper has lifted his rating to 936 points, while Smith sits on 937.
The pair are well clear of New Zealand star Kane Williamson, who is on 878 points, while India’s Cheteshwar Pujara has 817 points.
Records tumbled as Kohli registered his seventh Test double-century, joining England great Wally Hammond and Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene.
He moved past the likes of decorated figures Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, who scored six double hundreds.
In the process, Kohli also reached 7000 Test runs as he moved past moving past Sir Donald Bradman’s 6996 runs that came in 52 Tests.
The 30-year-old has played 81 Tests, posting 7054 runs at a fine average of 55.1.
India is preparing for the third Test against South Africa in Ranchi, starting October 19, having already secured the series.
Kohli will have the opportunity to topple Smith in that Test, with Australia’s former skipper out of action in the five-day format until November 21.
Smith regained top position at Kohli’s expense early last month after Kohli made a golden duck against the West Indies.
Smith had been the No.1 Test batsman from December 2015 to August 2018 but lost the title to Kohli while he was on the sidelines serving his 12-month suspension from international cricket.
Smith surged back to No.2 following his red-hot start to the Ashes series, where he compiled scores of 144, 142 and 92 in consecutive innings.
He finished the series with a remarkable 774 runs in four Tests at an eye-popping average of 110.57.
His mammoth runs haul was the fifth most in an Ashes series, behind Don Bradman's 974 in 1930, Wally Hammond's 905 two years earlier, Mark Taylor's 839 made 30 years ago, and Bradman again in 1936-37 with 810.