Millennium Post

Kohli back as No. 1 Test batsman

Dubai: India skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday regained the No.1 ICC Test batting spot after notching 200 runs (97, 103) in the just-concluded Trent Bridge Test against England, that India won by 203 runs.

According to an International Cricket Council (ICC) statement, Kohli's feats took him to 937 rating points — the highest he has reached so far — and that helped push him back atop Steve Smith in the charts.

The 29-year-old had reached the No. 1 spot after totalling 200 runs in the first Test at Edgbaston, but scores of 23 and 17 in the second Test at Lord's meant he slipped back down to the second spot.

The Indian skipper is now only one point outside the top 10 of an all-time rating points list: Don Bradman (961 points), Steve Smith (947), Len Hutton (945), Jack Hobbs and Ricky Ponting (both on 942), Peter May (941), and Gary Sobers, Clyde Walcott, Vivian Richards and Kumar Sangakkara (all on 938 points).

He is followed by banned Australian Smith while New Zealand's Kane Williamson occupies the third spot in the charts.

Among other Indians, Shikhar Dhawan, who returned to the side after being dropped at Lord's, and Ajinkya Rahane, who found much-needed form again with a crucial 81 in the first innings, both moved up four places. Dhawan now sits at No.22 in the batsmen's rankings, three places below Rahane at No.19.

England skipper Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, however lost two places each to be positioned at No. 5 and No. 11, respectively.

Meanwhile, after a maiden five-wicket haul in the first innings followed by an unbeaten 52 in the second innings, all-rounder Hardik Pandya also made big gains.

Pandya jumped eight spots to No. 51 in the batsmen's rankings, besides vaulting 23 places to No. 51, with a career-high 340 points in the bowler's list.

The Baroda cricketer also jumped 27 places to No. 17 in the all-rounder's list.

India quick Jasprit Bumrah, who returned to the third Test after nursing an injury, rose to No. 37

among the bowlers after his five-wicket haul in the second innings at Trent Bridge.

Interestingly, only one team in the history of Test cricket has won a five-match series from 2-0 down but

India have an opportunity to

emulate Don Bradman's Australians of 1936-37 after fighting back against England.

Just don't mention the outlandish idea to India's coach Ravi Shastri.

"1936-37? I wasn't even born, man! Why are you reminding me of 36-37?," boomed Shastri in Nottingham on Wednesday after his side's emphatic victory had reduced their series deficit to 2-1 and prompted excitable questioning.

"One match at a time, we live in the present, okay? One game at a time. We move to Southampton and start afresh. Take a fresh guard. 2018," added the coach, in his finest dead bat mode of old.

The man who could bore for India with the bat has another cavalier side to him, though.

A guy who also once belted six sixes in an over — and in an era long before Twenty20 bashes — can keep the lid on the hype but Shastri knows his men must attack this once-in-a-lifetime chance with gusto.

His players were on a roll as England's batsmen just rolled over at Trent Bridge. He purred at watching

what he felt was "by far" the best Indian pace attack he'd seen. And, above all, he trusted in his captain marvel Virat Kohli.

When the matchless Bradman, in his first series as Australia's captain, went two down in those 1936-37 Ashes, he responded with a monumental 270 at Melbourne that set up their third test win.

Kohli's 200 runs at Trent Bridge — the second time in the series he had compiled a double century of runs in the match, following his defiant effort in a losing cause at Edgbaston — provided the same impetus for his side, continuing a series in which he has underlined his own greatness as a batsman.

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