Indian skipper Virat Kohli will look forward to snatching the number-one position from Australia’s Steve Smith in the ICC Test player Rankings during the five test series which is beginning with the first test match in Birmingham on Wednesday.
Steve Smith, who is currently serving 12 months ban due to his role in ball tampering, is ahead of Virat Kohli by 26 points. Kohli needs to produce a string of strong performances to get ahead of the Australian.
India’s Cheteshwar Pujara is sixth, followed by Lokesh Rahul 18th, Ajinkya Rahane 19th, Murali Vijay 23rd and Shikhar Dhawan 24th, while England’s Joe Root is ranked third (48 points behind Kohli), Alistair Cook 13th, Jonny Bairstow 16th, Ben Stokes 28th and Moeen Ali 43rd. India boasts six bowlers inside the top-30, including two spinners in Ravindra Jadeja (third) and Ravichandran Ashwin (fifth), and four fast bowlers, namely Mohammed Shami (17th), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (25th), Ishant Sharma (26th) and Umesh Yadav (28th). India’s left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who caused problems for the England batsmen in the ODI series, is ranked outside the top-50 in 56th position.
If India can display their strength and prowess which has made them the highest-ranked team in the world, then they will further strengthen their grip on the top spot.