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Steven Smith second youngest after Tendulkar to top batting charts

June 15, 2015 16:51 IST
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Smith, at 26 years and 12 days, is only a few months short of Sachin Tendulkar, who topped the batting chart for the first time in 1999 at the age of 25 years and 279 days

Steven Smith

Australia's Steve Smith bats. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Australia’s Steven Smith has become the second youngest batsman after India’s Sachin Tendulkar to achieve the number-one ranking in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen following stellar batting in the Kingston Test, which Australia won by 277 runs to win the series 2-0.

Despite missing out on what would have been his first double century in his 28th Test, Smith, with scores of 199 and 54 not out, leapfrogged Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and the South Africa duo of AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla in the latest rankings, which were released on Monday morning.

However, Sangakkara will have a chance to reclaim his number-one ranking when he features in the series against Pakistan, which starts in Galle on Wednesday.

It’s been a meteoric rise for Smith who, at 26 years and 12 days, is only a few months short of Tendulkar, who topped the batting chart for the first time in 1999 at the age of 25 years and 279 days.

In achieving the landmark, Smith also became the 23rd Australia batsman to date to top the batting table, the last being captain Michael Clarke in January 2013.

Steve Smith of Australia poses with the Frank Worrell Trophy in the change rooms after winning the second Test against West Indies at Sabina Park on Sunday 

Australia's Steve Smith poses with the Frank Worrell Trophy in the change rooms after winning the second Test against West Indies at Sabina Park on Sunday. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Steve Waugh spent 94 Tests as number-one  -- more than any other Australia batsman -- while Don Bradman spent a record 6,320 days as the top-ranked batsman -- more than anyone else in the history of the game.

Smith gained 49 points from his efforts in Jamaica, which means he also broken the 900-point barrier for the first time in his career. It makes him the 29th batsman to date and eighth Australia batsman after Bradman (961), Ricky Ponting (942), Matthew Hayden (935), Doug Walters (922), Neil Harvey (921), Mike Hussey (921) and Michael Clarke (900) to achieve the rare distinction, which, in ranking terms, means truly outstanding.

He now has 913 points, which has given him 24th spot on the list of best Test ratings ever.

Last December, Smith entered the four-Test series against India in 13th position on 730 points. This means he has earned 183 points and 12 places in six Tests, thanks to his aggregate of 1,052 runs at an average of 131.50, including six centuries and three half centuries.

Meanwhile, Clarke has moved up a place to 14th in the latest batting table, while Adam Voges rose five places to 60.

West Indies bowler Jason Holder

West Indies bowler Jason Holder. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

For the West Indies, Jason Holder continued his fine run of recent form with the bat and his 82 not out in the first innings helped him launch 21 places to a career-high 67.

In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Australia fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood also achieved career-best rankings to date.

Starc moved up four places to 21 after match figures of four for 84, while Hazlewood also gained four places following match figures of seven for 56 and is now ranked 27.

For the West Indies, Jerome Taylor’s match figures of six for 71 elevated him 13 places to 22nd.

In the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings, Australia retained second position on 111 points, 19 points behind leader South Africa and 14 ahead of fifth-placed England.

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