Root up to number one in Test batting rankings


England batsman Joe Root has displaced Australia's Steve Smith as the world's top-ranked batsman in Test cricket, with the Aussie dropping down to number three according to the ICC's rankings.

The 24 year-old Root has scored two centuries in the four Ashes Tests as England regained the Ashes urn after taking an unassailable three-one lead in the five-match series.

Root, who plays county cricket for Yorkshire, becomes the first England batsman to top the batting ranking since 2003, when Michael Vaughan briefly held the top spot.

Smith, who scored a double ton in the second Ashes Test at Lord's, only scored six and five in the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.

The Australia vice-captain's second innings dismissal in Nottingham, when he chased a wide delivery and got caught at point, came in for severe criticism from Australia legends Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting.

South Africa's AB de Villiers, who did not play in his team's recent two-match Test series in Bangladesh due to the birth of his son, remains in second position.