Kane Williamson celebrates on reaching his century against Pakistan at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. File/AFP
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has overtaken Australia’s Steve Smith and India captain Virat Kohli to be the number one Test batsman in the world in the latest ICC rankings released on Thursday.
Williamson leaped from third to first after his player-of-the-match effort leading the Black Caps to a 101-run victory over Pakistan this week, scoring 129 in the first innings and a rapid 21 in the second when New Zealand were building a lead before declaring.
The New Zealand skipper described it as “humbling” to overtake Smith, who held the top spot for 313 days this year, and Kohli, who was number one for 51 days.
Smith slipped to third in the rankings behind Kohli following scores of nought and eight in Australia’s second Test against India while Kohli was on paternity leave.
“They are incredible players of our generation,” Williamson said as he arrived in Christchurch ahead of the second Pakistan Test which starts on Sunday.
“Those two players are the best so for me to sneak up perhaps in some way, is very surprising and humbling.”
All three players were this week named in the International Cricket Council’s team of the decade with Smith also named as the individual Test player of the decade. Kohli took the award for the best one-day player.
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"Pakistan captain Azam has ended Kohli's long reign at the top of the ICC Men's ODI player rankings," the ICC said in a statement. The 26-year-old becomes the fourth Pakistani batsmen to get the top spot in ODIs and the first since Mohammad Yousuf in 2003.
Pakistan is a cricket crazy nation, and its endless cricketing talent makes headlines in the world regularly. A young cricketer named Babar Azam is an outstanding example (“Pakistan captain Babar Azam dethrones Virat Kohli to become world’s No.1 ODI batsman,”
Pakistan cricket captain Babar Azam will aim to become the fastest and 11th player overall to score 2,000 T20I runs when his team locks horns with Zimbabwe in the three-match series at the Harare Sports Club from Wednesday. Azam, who last week was named the No. 1-player on the International
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