As the debate over who is the best Test batsman in the world continues, Australian captain Steve Smith has taken a substantial lead in terms of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Rankings.
Right-handed Smith, who hit an unbeaten 141 in the first Ashes Test against England in Brisbane, has consolidated his position at the top of the table. He has reached his highest career rating points of 941, which is the joint fifth biggest in Test rankings history.
"Smith stroked a magnificent unbeaten 141, his 21st century in his 57th Test, which was the cornerstone of Australia's 10-wicket victory over England in Brisbane.
"For his performance, Smith has gained five points to rise to 941 points, making him joint-fifth in terms of the highest points tally in batting history in Tests behind Sir Don Bradman (961), Len Hutton (945), Jack Hobbs (942) and Ricky Ponting (942), and at par with Peter May (941)," ICC said today (November 28).
"If Smith is able to produce another strong performance in the day/night Test at the Adelaide Oval, then he has a solid chance of leapfrogging Hutton, Hobbs, Ponting and May into second place behind Bradman," it added.
India's Cheteshwar Pujara has returned to number-two ranking after scoring 143 in his side's huge victory by an innings and 239 runs in Nagpur Test against Sri Lanka.
He had first peaked to second following the Ranchi Test against Australia in March, while the last time he was second was following his 133 against Sri Lanka in Colombo in August.
Indian captain Virat Kohli who hit his fifth double century in Nagpur, has zoomed to 877 points from 817 but still remains at fifth position.
Kohli and Smith will be back in Test action from December 2. Australia and England play in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide (Day/Night) while India and Sri Lanka face off in the third and final Test in Delhi.
ICC Test Player Rankings for Batsmen (as on 28 November after Brisbane and Nagpur Tests)
(Read as Rank, (+/-), Player, Team, Points, Average, Highest Rating)
1 ( - ) Steve Smith Aus 941! 61.23 941 v Eng at Brisbane 2017
2 (+2) C. Pujara Ind 888! 53.38 888 v SL at Nagpur 2017
3 (-1) Joe Root Eng 881 53.35 917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015
4 (-1) K. Williamson NZ 880 51.16 893 v Aus at Perth 2015
5 ( - ) Virat Kohli Ind 877 51.82 895 v Ban at Hyderabad 2017
6 ( - ) David Warner Aus 826 48.48 880 v NZ at Perth 2015
7 ( - ) Hashim Amla SA 795 49.87 907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013
8 (+1) Azhar Ali Pak 755 46.62 787 v Aus at Melbourne 2016
9 (-1) Lokesh Rahul Ind 735* 44.62 761 v SL at Pallekele 2017
10 (+1) Dean Elgar SA 732 42.30 740 v NZ at Dunedin 2017