No Test for the wicked! Will Virat Kohli replace Steve Smith as the top Test batsman?
The India-England Test series begin on August 1 in Birmingham, and it seems like a good opportunity for Virat Kohli to better his rankings in Test cricket. Kohli ranks second in the ICC Test rankings with 903 rating points, behind Australian batsman Steve Smith, who is 26 points ahead of him.
England captain Joe Root, left, and India captain Virat Kohli hold the Test match trophy during a media event at Edgbaston, Birmingham, England, Tuesday July 31, 2018. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)
Kohli will need to put up a strong performance in the series to go past the Australian who is currently serving a 12-month-ban following his involvement in a match-fixing scandal. If Kohli manages to secure the top spot in Test, it would exhibit his dominance in batting as he is also the numero uno in the ODI rankings. His T20 rankings aren’t up to the mark though and KL Rahul is the only Indian in the list of top ten batsmen in the shorter format of the game.
India's Dinesh Karthik, right, and Virat Kohli during a nets session at Edgbaston in Birmingham, Monday July 30, 2018. India are scheduled to play the first Test against England starting Aug. 1. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)
Kohli’s route to toppling Smith won’t be easy. Former skipper Sourav Ganguly believes that James Anderson and Stuart Broad could be a challenge for India as the English pacers have excelled in home conditions. Former cricketer Virender Sehwag believes that the Brits will bring in Adil Rashid specially to counter Kohli as the Indian captain struggled against the spinner during the ODIs.
India's Virat Kohli during a nets session at Edgbaston in Birmingham, Monday July 30, 2018. India are scheduled to play the first Test against England starting Aug. 1.(Mike Egerton/PA via AP)
For the teams, India is currently pegged on top in Tests and England is on the fifth position. The Brits will want to carry on their winning momentum from the ODIs against India to the upcoming series to better their ranking. If India clinches the series 5-0, then they’ll move to 129 points while England will slip to the sixth spot.