Steven Smith replaces Virat Kohli as No. 1 batter after Indian skipper scores only 21 runs in 1st Test vs New Zealand

Steven Smith replaces Virat Kohli as No. 1 batter after Indian skipper scores only 21 runs in 1st Test vs New Zealand
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Steven Smith regained his top rank in the Test batmen’s rankings as the International Cricket Council (ICC) revealed the latest rankings on Wednesday.

Steven Smith regained his top rank in the Test batmen's rankings as the International Cricket Council (ICC) revealed the latest rankings on Wednesday.

He replaced Virat Kohli, who lost his spot on the top after a disappointing outing in the first Test against New Zealand. The Indian skipper managed to score just 21 runs in two innings as India lost the match by 10 wickets and went 0-1 down in their ongoing two-match Test series.

This is the eighth time Smith is on top of the rankings after he first bagged the No. 1 rank for the first time in June 2015. The last batsman, apart from Smith and Kohli, to be No. 1 Test batsman was Kane Williamson. The New Zealand skipper held the top rank for an eight-day period in December 2015.

The Kiwi, however, is currently ranked No. 3 as he gained 31 points for his score of 89 in the recently ended Wellington Test between India and New Zealand. The BlackCaps captain, in fact, was the top-scorer of the match, which ended in four days. It was a great result considering New Zealand suffered a whitewash loss against Australia recently.

While Indian opener Mayank Agarwal, who was India's only batsman who scored a fifty in the Wellington Test, returned to his career-best ranking of No. 1. On the other hand, New Zealand's Ross Taylor, who played his 100th Test, also moved up the batsmen's list. Talking of the pace duo of New Zealand, Tim Southee and Trent Boult earned a huge number of points after they clinched nine and five wickets respectively. Southee has advanced eight spots to N. 6, which is his highest since a career-best fifth place in June 2014. Boult has moved up four slots to take joint-No. 13.

India dropped points for the first time in the ongoing ICC Test Championship after they lost to New Zealand in the first Test. Even then, Kohli's side is on the top with 360 points ahead of Australia (296) and England (146). Prior to the first Test against India, New Zealand had 60 points and a win in the game meant, they jumped one place up to fifth with 120 points under their belt.

The second Test between India and New Zealand is scheduled to begin on Saturday at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.

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