Kane Williamson overtakes Virat Kohli to become top Test batsman

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson enters the New Year as the top-ranked test batsman after leapfrogging Australia’s Steve Smith and India skipper Virat Kohli in the latest official rankings issued on Thursday.

Williamson hit a match-winning century in the opening test against Pakistan to help New Zealand win by 101 runs at Mount Maunganui on Wednesday.

Smith is in the middle of a rare slump in form and dropped behind Kohli after registering four single-digit scores at the halfway stage of the ongoing four-test series against India.

Kohli, who topscored for India in their eight-wicket thrashing by Australia in the series opener in Adelaide, has returned home for the birth of his first child. India’s stand-in skipper, Ajinkya Rahane, jumped to number six after his stellar hundred in the second test inspired the tourists to a series-levelling victory in Melbourne.

Australia’s Pat Cummins remains the top-ranked test bowler, while compatriot Mitchell Starc jumped two places to enter the top five.