Dubai: The new face in the top 10 of the MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings for batsmen was that of Aiden Markram, who slotted in at No.9 after emerging as the top run-getter during the course of South Africa’s 3-1 win over Australia.
Steve Smith, despite being out of action – for the last Test against South Africa and for the foreseeable future – retained his No.1 spot but the gap between him and Virat Kohli, at No.2, has come down to 17 points after an average run before he was handed a 12-month suspension by Cricket Australia.
Kane Williamson and Joe Root, the leaders of the opposing teams in the other recently-concluded two-Test series, which New Zealand won 1-0, have swapped places in the table.
David Warner, also suspended by Cricket Australia for 12 months for his role in the ball-tampering incident in the Cape Town Test, rounds off the top five with 828 points.
Markram, who topped the scorers’ chart with 480 runs from eight innings, made significant gains in the rankings after getting to 759 points.
That helped Markram gain six positions, placing him one spot below teammate Dean Elgar, who has 784 points, and three places below AB de Villiers, who occupies the sixth place with 813 points.
India's Cheteshwar Pujara is placed seventh with 810 points, while Pakistan's Azhar Ali, who last played a Test in October 2017, has slipped to the 10th place with 755 points.
England wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow moved up three places to No. 13 with 702 points, while South Africa captain Faf du Plessis gained five places and sits in the 17th spot.
New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman BJ Watling moved up six places after his comeback series to No.35, while South Africa middle-order batsman Temba Bavuma, also returning after an injury layoff, made a big jump –12 spots to No.39 after scoring 95* and 35* in Johannesburg.