Steve Smith rises in Test rankings as Joe Root slide continues

Once regarded in the same league as Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, England captain Joe Root has now fallen to No.9 in the Test batting rankings.

After scores of 14 and 0 in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, Root has slipped three places in the rankings from No.6.

He now sits behind the likes of Henry Nicholls, Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock and Dimuth Karunaratne - a turn of events that would have been unthinkable just a few months ago.

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As for Smith, his concussion has failed to halt his march towards top spot.

Smith is now second on the ICC's rankings, having risen above New Zealand captain Williamson in the latest update.

Steve Smith is up to No.2, while Joe Root is down in ninth. Image: Getty

The right-hander is now only nine ranking points behind India maestro Kohli, who will be in action later this week when his team start a two-Test series in the West Indies.

Smith reaffirmed why he is widely regarded as the world's best batsman with two tons in the first Ashes Test then scoring 92 at Lord's, an innings that was overshadowed by a frightening blow to his neck.

Australia's former skipper retired hurt on 80 after being struck by a Jofra Archer bouncer.

Smith returned to bat on Saturday after passing concussion tests but was withdrawn from the match the following morning, having woken up with a headache and other concussion symptoms.

Smith remains an immense doubt for the third Test, which starts in Leeds on Thursday, but hasn't given up hope of taking part yet.

Retaining the 30-year-old in the XI would be a huge boost to Australia's hope of enhancing their 1-0 series lead and retaining the urn with victory at Headingley.

Smith has scored 378 runs at 126 this series, while the other members of Australia's first-choice top six have combined for 406 runs.

Cummins equals Glenn McGrath record

The latest ICC rankings update also highlighted why Smith is in a class of his own, likewise Pat Cummins.

Cummins, having snagged six wickets in the draw at Lord's, consolidated his hold on top spot on the Test bowling rankings but also gained one place to reach fifth position on the allrounder table.

Cummins currently has a personal-best 914 ranking points, equalling the highest number that any Australian bowler has ever achieved.

Glenn McGrath also had 914 points in 2001 after helping Australia secure a 4-1 Ashes series win in England.

That tour remains the most recent time that Australia have won an Ashes series in England.

TEST BATTING RANKINGS

1 - Virat Kohli (922 points)

2 - Steve Smith (913)

3 - Kane Williamson (887)

TEST BOWLING RANKINGS

1 - Pat Cummins (914)

2 - Kagiso Rabada (851)

3 - Jimmy Anderson (823)

with AAP