Steve Smith moves back to top three rankings after scoring two tons

Updated: Aug 06, 2019, 17:58 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Steve Smith, playing his first Test series after returning from a one-year ban for ball-tampering, gained a rung to reach the third position in the latest list for batsmen, which continues to be led by India captain Virat Kohli

Steve Smith moves back to top three rankings after scoring two tons
Steve Smith walking up to take the Man of the Match award post the first Ashes 2019 Test.

Former Australian captain Steve Smith moved a place up to the third position in the ICC Test batting rankings after scoring two hundreds in the first match of the Ashes.

Steve Smith played his first Test after serving the one year ban for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal last year.

Smith's knocks of 144 and 142 won him the Man of the Match award and the formerly top-ranked batsman is back above the 900-point mark along with Kohli (922) and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (913). He started the Test, which Australia won by 251 runs, in fourth place and with 857 points.

Australian spinner Nathan Lyon's nine wickets in the match have lifted him six spots to the 13th position among bowlers. Pacer Pat Cummins has consolidated his top position with a seven-wicket match haul that helped him reach a career-best 898 rating points, the third-best for an Australia bowler in the past 50 years after Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.

For England, Ben Foakes and Chris Woakes are in 69th and 70th positions in the list for batsmen after gaining one and 11 points, respectively. Opener Rory Burns' knock of 133 in the first innings has helped him move up 25 places to a career-best 81st position.

Fast bowler Stuart Broad, who completed 100 Test wickets against Australia during the match, has gained two places to be 16th. Woakes has advanced four places to take the 29th slot after grabbing four wickets in the match. Woakes has also leapfrogged compatriot Moeen Ali to reach ninth among all-rounders.

Steve Smith was visibly ecstatic after he scored the two hundreds and being awarded the Man of the Match in Australia's win. Smith said, "It feels pretty special, winning the first Test in England is really special. It feels great, I'm loving being back playing cricket for Australia, doing what I love and contributing to wins,"To score two hundreds in a match — the first time I've done that in any form of cricket in my life — is very special and I'm very proud."

Smith revealed he had lost his passion for cricket as a result of his ban and an elbow injury, but he is now fully motivated again and reaping the rewards. "I didn't dream about how I would come back. I was just letting time pass and when I got my elbow brace off after surgery something clicked and I was ready to play cricket again. I did lose that love for a little bit but I'm back doing what I love now and it's great."

With inputs from AFP/PTI

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