Steven Smith continues to top the table, 25 points in front of the second-placed duo
Kane Williamson, who began New Zealand’s Test summer at home with a career-best 251 in the first of two Tests against West Indies in Hamilton, has jumped to joint-second with Virat Kohli in the ICC Test rankings. The two of them are on 886 rating points, 25 behind the top-ranked Steven Smith.
Smith, however, might be in with a shot of extending his lead, because while Australia, India and New Zealand are all scheduled to play Test cricket over the next six weeks, Kohli is likely to miss three of India’s four Tests in Australia as he goes on paternity leave. Williamson, too, could miss some Test action at home against Pakistan to be with his partner for the birth of their first child. He should, however, play the second Test against West Indies, and could be back for the second Test against Pakistan, starting January 3.
A little distance below the top, Tom Latham has jumped to a career-best No. 10 following his knock of 86, the best behind Williamson’s double-ton, in New Zealand’s only innings.
The bowling chart too saw a big change with Neil Wagner shading Stuart Broad to take the second spot behind Pat Cummins, though there is a big gap between Wagner (849 points) and Cummins (904). Wagner made the jump after finishing with a match haul of 6 for 99 in Hamilton. Incidentally, Wagner had also become No. 2 in December 2019.
Doubts over the possibility of England’s Test series in South Africa could mean Broad might now have to wait until February, when they are due to play India in four Tests away, to improve his ranking and tally of 845 points.
Wagner’s colleague Tim Southee is now ranked No. 4, his best position since his Test debut in 2008, while Kagiso Rabada rounds off the top five. Jasprit Bumrah, who is expected to spearhead India’s pace attack in the upcoming Tests in Australia, is currently ranked ninth.
Meanwhile, a wicketless first Test in Hamilton has cost Jason Holder the top spot in the allrounders’ table. Ben Stokes is on top there, 12 points in front of the West Indies captain. Stokes briefly held the top spot during the summer, having snatched it from Holder after the second Test against West Indies at home, before Holder reclaimed it.