21 March, Dubai (CRICKETNMORE)। In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, top-ranked Steve Smith has reached a career-high rating of 941 points after scores of 178 not out and 21. The Australia captain's tally is the joint-fifth highest ever along with Peter May. Only Don Bradman (961), Len Hutton (945), Jack Hobbs and Ricky Ponting (942) have achieved higher rating points.
Indias Cheteshwar Pujara too has reason to celebrate as his knock of 202 has helped gain four slots to reach a career-best second ranking. He has replaced New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who is now in fifth place, also slipping behind Joe Root and Virat Kohli.
The Bangladesh pair of Shakib Al Hasan (21st) and Mushfiqur Rahim (28th), Australias Peter Handscomb (35th) and New Zealand batsmen Jeet Raval (43rd) and Henry Nicholls (45th) have also achieved career-best rankings.
Shakib, who took six wickets in Colombo, has displaced Ashwin from the top rank in the list of all-rounders after the two players inter-changed positions two times last week.
Meanwhile, the race for the second spot in the ICC Test Team Rankings has become interesting as Australia and South Africa compete ahead of the cut-off date of 1 April, on which India is assured of finishing first and a cash award of $1 million.
Australia will finish second and get a cash award $ 500,000 with at least a draw in the last Test in Dharamsala while South Africa can finish second if Australia loses and South Africa either wins or draws the last match against New Zealand in Hamilton.
The third-placed team on 1 April will receive $ 200,000 while the fourth-placed team, which will be England, will get $ 100,000.
ICC Test rankings for batsmen
|1||Steve Smith (AUS)||941|
|2||Cheteshwar Pujara (IND)||861|
|3||Joe Root (ENG)||848|
|4||Virat Kohli (IND)||826|
|5||Kane Williamson (NZ)||823|
|6||Azhar Ali (PAK)||779|
|7||Younis Khan (PAK)||772|
|8||David Warner (AUS)||768|
|9||Hashim Amla (SA)||759|
|10||Quinton de Kock (SA)||758|