In the wake of posting his highest individual score in Test cricket, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson (886 points) has equalled Virat Kohli at second spot in ICC’s latest rankings for batsmen. Meanwhile, Holder’s underwhelming showing has allowed Ben Stokes to regain top spot for all-rounders.
Switching from the IPL to Test cricket was never going to be easy but New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson did it in style, last week in Hamilton. Put into bat on a green top indistinguishable from the outfield, Williamson struck a career-best 251, the third double century of his career, and helped his side register a handsome innings victory over the visiting Windies. The knock has not only helped New Zealand but also has helped Williamson personally as the Kiwi skipper is now joint second in the batsman’s rankings in Test cricket.
Williamson’s 251 last week has helped him get to 886 rating points, the same as Virat Kohli. The duo are now ‘joint-second’ in the ICC’s batsmen’s rankings, pushing Marnus Labuschagne, as a result, to fourth. Both Williamson and Kohli will have a chance to become the undisputed second, with the duo set to be in action once again in the forthcoming weeks. However, convincingly clear of both Williamson and Kohli is the number one batsman Steve Smith, who has a 25-point lead at the top.
But while the top-ranked batsman has kept his ranking, the all-rounders’ ranking has seen a change at the top. Jason Holder’s underwhelming showing in the first Test - no wickets and 33 runs across two innings - has seen him surrender top spot to Ben Stokes, who hasn’t featured in a single Test in close to three months. The Windies skipper is, however, just 12 points shy of Stokes (446) and could very well regain top spot in the second Test against the Kiwis, starting December 11.
Holder has also slipped in the bowlers’ rankings to 7th spot, but there is a delight for one of his counterparts, Neil Wagner, who has usurped Stuart Broad to clinch the second spot. Wagner claimed 6 wickets in the first Test in Hamilton - the most by any bowler in the match - and this astounding showing has seen him take a slender four-point lead over Broad. Wagner is, however, light years behind top-ranked Pat Cummins, who has a 55-point lead up top.