Root slips down ICC rankings

Steve Smith's buffer at the top of the charts increases after a below-par series from England star

Steve Smith’s grip on the title of world No.1 Test batsman has strengthened, with England star Joe Root slipping down the charts after a below-par series against Sri Lanka.

Root has dropped from second to No.4 on the Test batsman table in the latest update to the International Cricket Council’s rankings, released after the third and final Test at Lord’s ended in a sodden draw.

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He has fallen behind New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and South Africa star Hashim Amla after scoring three and four at the home of cricket.

It means Smith's lead at the top of the charts has grown to 57 points, ahead of Williamson on 868.

The England vice-captain scored 87 runs at 21.75 for the series, with his only highlight an 80 scored in the second Test in Durham.

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However, his cause wasn’t helped by his side’s dominant victories in the first two Tests, which meant Root was only required to bat once in each match.

Former England captain Nasser Hussein said while it had been "a series to forget" for Root, even the world’s best players are not immune to the occasional lean spell.

"I can’t believe what a quiet series he’s had, other than scoring 80 in Durham, and he’ll be very disappointed," Hussein wrote in UK newspaper The Daily Mail.

"But that can happen, even with the best players. Maybe he’s slightly falling over his front foot a little bit more than usual.

"He will have to watch that, but it’s just been a series to forget for him."

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England’s next Test assignment is against Pakistan on July 14, while Steve Smith’s next outing in the Baggy Green is set to be Australia’s first Test against Sri Lanka on July 26.

Jonny Bairstow jumped three places to 18th after his 167 in England’s first innings, while Alastair Cook also climbed three places, to 12th, after his 85 and 49 not out.

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Meanwhile, James Anderson has retained his place at the top of the Test bowling charts after taking 2-61 in Sri Lanka’s first innings.

Anderson’s outstanding form in England’s series-clinching win over Sri Lanka in Durham earlier this month saw him crowned the new world No.1 ranked Test bowler, knocking off countryman Stuart Broad to claim the No.1 position in the International Cricket Council rankings for the first time.

Broad remained in the No.3 spot after taking 2-79 at Lord’s, but the rain which washed out almost the entire final day of play also robbed England’s spearheads of the chance to add to their impressive tallies for the three-Test series.

ICC batting rankings

ICC bowling rankings

Meg Lanning Steve Smith