India skipper Virat Kohli’s prolific run with the willow has helped him jump three spots to the second position in the latest ICC Test Rankings released on Thursday and inch closer to match Australian legend Ricky Ponting’s record of holding the top spot across all the three formats at the same time.
Former Australia captain Ponting is the only batsman to have topped all three formats at the same time — in December-January 2005-06, while his compatriot Matthew Hayden is the other batsman to have topped all three formats.
Kohli, who amassed 615 runs in the just-concluded three-match Test rubber against Sri Lanka, including two back-to-back double tons, holds the top spot in both ODIs and T20Is.
The 29-year-old, who stroked 243 and followed with 50 in the drawn third Test against the islanders, entered the series in sixth position but has leapfrogged David Warner, Cheteshwar Pujara, Kane Williamson and Joe Root after the stupendous run which saw him average 152.50.
Though 45 points separate him from No.1 ranked Australia captain Steve Smith, Kohli would be eyeing the chance of reaching the zenith in all three formats in the upcoming three-Test rubber in South Africa in January.
Smith is now on 938 points while Kohli is on 893 points.
Among other Indians moving northwards in the rankings are opener Murali Vijay (up three places to 25th) and middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma (up six places to 40th). Pujara, however dropped two spots to No.4.
England captain Joe Root has retained his third spot after scores of nine and 67 in Adelaide while New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson dropped a spot to complete the top-5.
For Sri Lanka, captain Dinesh Chandimal has gained eight places to a career-best ninth spot after finishing the series with 366 runs.
Meanwhile, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has dropped one place to be positioned at No.3 in the ICC Test bowlers’ rankings, which is led by England’s James Anderson and followed by South African Kagiso Rabada.
India’s premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin stayed at the No.4 spot while veteran Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Rangana Herath was at No.5.
Ashwin, however dropped a rung to No.4 in the all-rounder’s list after a poor run with the willow in the Sri Lankan series.
The all-rounder’s table is topped by Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan followed by Jadeja and England’s Ben Stokes, who rose a spot despite being out of the ongoing Ashes campaign.