Cricket: Red-hot Kane Williamson pulls clear atop ICC batting rankings after centuries against South Africa

  • 08/02/2024
Kane Williamson.
Kane Williamson. Photo credit: Getty Images

Blackcaps batter Kane Williamson has pulled clear atop the standings as the world's top-ranked test batsman after his double-ton heroics against South Africa.

Williamson was already sitting in the No. 1 spot in the ICC's rankings before New Zealand's comprehensive 281-run win over the Proteas in Mount Maunganui.

But his lead in the official rankings has skyrocketed following his scores of 118 and 109 at Bay Oval against the under-strength tourists.

Kane Williamson.
Kane Williamson. Photo credit: Getty Images

He sits on 864 ranking points, well clear of Australia's Steve Smith (818 points) and England's Joe Root (797). New Zealand's Daryl Mitchell remains fourth on 786.

Williamson, 33, has scored six centuries in his last six tests, pushing his career average above 55 in the process.

His dual centuries against the Proteas marked the first time in his first-class cricket career he'd reached triple figures in both innings of a match.

"It's pretty impressive but it's no fluke," said captain Tim Southee of Williamson's recent performance.

"We know how hard he trains, how much time he puts in and his and his love for batting. It's very, very pleasing to see him be able to do what he's done in the last wee while.

"To not only come back from injury, but to be able to come back and and be a better player than than what he was before was, is is pretty phenomenal."

Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah has become the first Indian pace bowler to top the ICC's bowling rankings on the back of his match-winning display in the second test against England in Visakhapatnam.

The 30-year-old claimed nine wickets in his reverse swing masterclass to secure India's series-levelling victory by 106 runs.

It helped him leapfrog Australia's Pat Cummins, South African Kagiso Rabada and team mate Ravichandran Ashwin in the rankings.

India spinners Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Bishan Singh Bedi had previously topped the test rankings for bowlers.