Smith closes in on Don Bradman

Steve Smith, the top-ranked Test batsman, continued his phenomenal run to rise to new heights in the ICC Test player rankings, moving closer towards Don Bradman’s highest-ever ranking points, after a match-winning double-century in the third Test against England in Perth.

The Australian captain’s knock of 239, which helped his team regain the Ashes by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series, has seen him reach a tally of 945 points to take joint-second position in the all-time list, along with Len Hutton.

Smith had reached 941 points after the first Test in Adelaide before dropping briefly to 938 after the Brisbane Test.

The Aussies skipper, who has gained seven points after his performance in Perth to overtake Peter May, Ricky Ponting and Jack Hobbs.

He is now within 16 points of Bradman’s tally of 961 points, and has had a minimum of 918 points over the past 12 months, which is 25 more than what second-placed Virat Kohli has as of now.

His batting average of 62.32 is second only to Bradman in terms of batsmen with at least 20 Test innings and by the time the fourth Test of the series starts on Boxing Day, he would have been the number one for two years.

Smith is already ahead of Bradman with regard to the number of Tests at the top.

He has now been number one for 114 Tests, which is the fifth-most in a list led by Gary Sobers (189 Tests) and with Viv Richards (179), Lara (140) and Tendulkar (139) the only ones ahead of him in this list.

Batsmen to reach career-best rankings after the Perth Test include Dawid Malan of England (up 47 places to a career-best 52nd) after his innings of 140 and 54 in Perth and Mitchell Marsh of Australia (up 44 places to 65th) after his score of 181.

Jonny Bairstow (up one place to 15th) and Usman Khawaja (up two places to 19th) are the other batsmen to have moved up.

In the bowlers’ list led by England’s new-ball bowler James Anderson, Australia pace bowler Josh Hazlewood has gained one slot to move into the top five after finishing with eight wickets in the match.

Pat Cummins of Australia (up four places to a career-best 39th) and Craig Overton of England (up seven places to 89th) have also gained in the latest rankings.

Batsmen (top 10)

Rank      (+/-)        Player                 Team     Pts        Avge     Highest Rating

1         ( – )         Steve Smith         Aus        945!      62.32    945 v Eng at Perth 2017

2         ( – )         Virat Kohli            Ind         893        53.75    895 v Ban at Hyderabad 2017

3         (+1)        C. Pujara              Ind         873       52.96    888 v SL at Nagpur 2017

4         (+1)        Kane Williamson  NZ          855       50.62    893 v Aus at Perth 2015

5         (-2)         Joe Root              Eng        852       52.37    917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015

6         ( – )         David Warner       Aus        801       47.97    880 v NZ at Perth 2015

7         ( – )         Hashim Amla       SA          795       49.87    907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013

8         ( – )         Azhar Ali              Pak        755       46.62    787 v Aus at Melbourne 2016

9         ( – )         D. Chandimal       SL          743!      43.94    743 v Ind at Delhi 2017

10        ( – )         Ross Taylor          NZ          739       48.04    871 v Win at Hamilton 2013

Bowlers (top 10)

Rank      (+/-)       Player                  Team     Pts        Avge      Highest Rating

1         ( – )         James Anderson  Eng        892       27.35     896 v Win at Lord’s 2017

2         ( – )         Kagiso Rabada    SA          876!      22.71     876 v Ban at Bloemfontein 2017

3         ( – )         R. Jadeja              Ind         870       23.73     899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017

4         ( – )         R. Ashwin             Ind         829       25.44     904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016

5         (+1)        Josh Hazlewood  Aus        824       25.46     863 v Ind at Bengaluru 2017

6         (-1)         Rangana Herath  SL          799       28.04     867 v Zim at Harare 2016

7         ( – )         Neil Wagner         NZ          784       27.87     785 v Win at Wellington 2017

8         ( – )         Mitchell Starc       Aus        782       27.52     805 v Pak at Brisbane 2016

9         ( – )         Nathan Lyon        Aus        773       31.55     774 v Eng at Adelaide 2017

10        ( – )         Dale Steyn           SA          748       22.30     909 v Win at Centurion 2014