Steve Smith Inches Closer To Don Bradman, Reaches Joint-Second Highest Batting Points Ever
Australian skipper Steve Smith has been in sensational form in the Ashes series.
Australian captain Steve Smith's double-century ensured the Aussies regained the Ashes on Monday. His phenomenal run in the series against England lifted him to new heights in the latest ICC Test Player Rankings as he has moved closer towards Don Bradman's highest-ever ranking points after a match-winning double-century in the third Test against England in Perth. The Australia captain's innings of 239 in the third Test has seen him reach a tally of 945 points to take the 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.
Smith, who has gained seven points after his Perth performance to overtake Peter May, Ricky Ponting and Jack Hobbs and to within 16 points of Bradman's tally of 961 points, has had a minimum of 918 points over the past 12 months, which is 25 more than what second-placed Virat Kohli's current total.
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 others ahead of him.
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.