New Zealand captain Kane Williamson ended 2020 as the No.1 batsman in Test cricket as the latest ICC Men’s Test Rankings were released on Thursday. Williamson moved past Indian captain Virat Kohli and Aussie run-machine Steve Smith to occupy the top slot.
India’s woes on a day they were bundled out for 36 by Australia at Adelaide worsened as experienced pacer Mohammed Shami was ruled out of the Test series with a fracture on his arm. During India’s disastrous batting outfit in the second innings at Adelaide, Shami was struck on the right arm by a bouncer from Pat Cummins.
Australia trounced India by 66 runs in the first ODI at Sydney on Friday. Batting first after winning the toss, the Aussies posted a mammoth 374 for 6 on the board courtesy tons from skipper Aaron Finch and Steve Smith, and a scintillating cameo of 45 from 19 from Glenn Maxwell.
After leading the World Test Championship for most part, Team India now find themselves at the second position owing to ICC’s decision to modify the points system. As per the new system, sides will be ranked teams “in order of percentage of points earned” from the matches they have played.
Team India skipper Virat Kohli has admitted that there has been a lot of uncertainty over the availability of Rohit Sharma for the Test series in Australia, which starts from December 17. Rohit and Ishant Sharma, both of whom were injured during the IPL, did not travel to Australia from the UAE. It is now emerging that they could miss either the first couple of Tests, or even the entire series.
Star Australian batsman Steve Smith feels the absence of skipper Virat Kohli and opener Rohit Sharma is not likely to hurt India much in the upcoming series as they have quality replacements available. While Rohit will miss the entire limited-overs series and at least two of the four Tests, Kohli will return to India after the first Test for the birth of his child.
Team India will miss the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli for three of the four Tests in Australia. Kohli will take part in the opening Test in Adelaide, India’s first Day/Night encounter Down Under. After the conclusion of the match, Kohli will head back to India to be with wife Anushka Sharma for the birth of their first child.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has decided to leave the Australian tour after the first test in Adelaide, in order to be present with his wife, as the pair are expecting their first child. That has created a sense of anxiety in the Indian camp, as his absence has not only created a huge hole in the side’s batting, but it also means that someone else will be leading the Indian team in whites, something that hasn’t happened in more than three years.
Former Aussie pacer Glenn McGrath agrees with the common view that the absence of Indian skipper Virat Kohli for a majority of the Test matches will be a massive blow for India. At the same time, the Australian legend added that it is a golden opportunity for someone else to step up.