Virat Kohli on top of the world after Edgbaston ton

Virat Kohli scored one of the best centuries of his career against England to silence some critics. (AP)
Updated 05 August 2018
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Virat Kohli on top of the world after Edgbaston ton

BIRMINGHAM: Virat Kohli broke new ground by topping the International Cricket Council Test batting rankings for the first time in his career when the latest edition was published Sunday.
The India captain, already at the head of the equivalent one-day international batting chart, found himself at the summit of these standings after scoring 149 — his maiden Test century in England — and 51 during the series opener at Edgbaston.
Unfortunately for Kohli, his impressive match haul of exactly 200 runs could not prevent an India defeat by 31 runs on Saturday’s fourth day in Birmingham, with England now 1-0 up in a five-match series.
Kohli’s two innings boosted his ranking rating by 31 points and helped him end Steve Smith’s 32-month reign as the top-ranked batsman in Test cricket.
Former Australia captain Smith is currently serving a 12-month international ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal during a Test against South Africa at Cape Town in March,
Kohli is now on top of the rankings for the first time in an impressive 67-Test career that has yielded 5,754 runs at an average of 54.28, including 22 hundreds.
He now leads Smith by five points, but will have to maintain the form in the remaining four Tests to end the series as the world’s highest-ranked batsman.
Kohli is the seventh Indian, and first since Sachin Tendulkar in June 2011, to hold the number-one Test batting position.
Apart from Kohli and Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag and Dilip Vengsarkar are the other India batsmen to have been in the top spot during their Test careers.
However, at 934 points, Kohli has become India’s highest-ranked batsman, 14th overall, on the all-time tally of points.
Kohli had entered the Edgbaston Test on 903 points, 13 points behind former opening batsman Gavaskar, and is now ahead of the ICC Cricket Hall of Famer by 18 points.
Meanwhile James Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, remained on top of an unchanged top 10 in the Test bowling rankings following his impressive display at Edgbaston which included a brilliant duel with Kohli.
The rankings will next be updated following the second Test between England and India at Lord’s, which begins on August 9.

Leading MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings
Batting
01 (+1) Virat Kohli (IND)
02 (-1) Steve Smith (AUS)
03 (-) Joe Root (ENG)
04 (-) Kane Williamson (NZL)
05 (-) David Warner (AUS)
06 (-) Cheteshwar Pujara (IND)
07 (-) Dimuth Karunaratne (SRI)
08 (-) Dinesh Chandimal (SRI)
09 (-) Dean Elgar (RSA)
10 (-) Aiden Markram (RSA)

Bowling
01 (-) James Anderson (ENG)
02 (-) Kagiso Rabada (RSA)
03 (-) Ravindra Jadeja (IND)
04 (-) Vernon Philander (RSA)
05 (-) Ravichandran Ashwin (IND)
06 (-) Pat Cummins (AUS)
07 (-) Trent Boult (NZL)
08 (-) Rangana Herath (SRI)
09 (-) Neil Wagner (NZL)
10 (-) Josh Hazlewood (AUS)


Arsenal, Chelsea win in Europa League as Rangers hold Villarreal

Aubameyang opened the scoring in London after 32 minutes of the Group E encounter. (Reuters)
Updated 21 September 2018
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Arsenal, Chelsea win in Europa League as Rangers hold Villarreal

  • I think we played well in the first half and in the beginning of the second as well: Aubameyang
  • Chelsea made a winning start to their Group L campaign as Willian's seventh-minute effort was enough to see off PAOK

PARIS: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice as Arsenal defeated Ukraine's Vorskla Poltava 4-2 in the Europa League on Thursday, while in-form Chelsea began their campaign with a 1-0 win away to PAOK in Greece.
Aubameyang has struggled to hit top gear in the Premier League so far with just one goal in five starts, but the Gabon striker opened the scoring in London after 32 minutes of the Group E encounter.
Danny Welbeck nodded in a second just after half-time and Aubameyang curled in the Gunners' third, with Mesut Ozil also on target before a lapse in concentration saw Vorskla hit back with two late goals.
"I think we played well in the first half and in the beginning of the second as well," Aubameyang told BT Sport.
"We have to improve and try to fight not to concede a goal like we did in the last minute."
Premier League leaders Chelsea made a winning start to their Group L campaign as Willian's seventh-minute effort was enough to see off PAOK at a hostile Toumba Stadium.
Eden Hazard was omitted from the Chelsea squad at his own request due to fatigue, but manager Maurizio Sarri fielded a strong side as the Blues extended their winning run to six games in all competitions.
"We were in control of the match for 90 minutes. We had a lot of opportunities. We missed them and so I'm very happy with the three points, very happy with the performance, but not very happy with the result," said Sarri.
"When it's time to kill the match, we have to kill the match."
Steven Gerrard's Rangers acquitted themselves well on their first appearance in the group stage of a European competition since the 2010-11 Champions League, as they came away with a 2-2 draw against Villarreal.
A disastrous start for the Glasgow side saw Carlos Bacca fire Villarreal ahead inside 60 seconds, but Scott Arfield turned home a cross from Daniel Candeias to level on 67 minutes.
Gerard Moreno put the hosts back in front almost immediately, only for Kyle Lafferty to again hit back for Rangers as Gerrard's men made a solid start in Group G.
Leigh Griffiths hit a late winner for Celtic in a 1-0 home victory over Rosenborg, a team Brendan Rodgers' side knocked out in this season's Champions League qualifying rounds.
Salzburg triumphed in the clash of Red Bulls in the other Group B fixture as Fredrik Gulbrandsen scored a minute from time to give the Austrian club a 3-2 victory over RB Leipzig.
Marseille, last season's runners-up, slumped to a 2-1 home defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt in Group H as Luka Jovic grabbed an 89th-minute winner for the reigning German Cup champions.
Lucas Ocampos opened the scoring early for Marseille, who were playing behind closed doors at the Stade Velodrome after numerous crowd incidents last season.
But Lucas Torro levelled on 52 minutes for Eintracht before Jovic's late strike won it.
Dudelange, the first Luxembourg team to play in the Europa League group stage, made seven-time European champions AC Milan work hard for a 1-0 win in Group F.
Luxembourg's Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were in the crowd as Dudelange, who have a dozen non-professional players in their squad, succumbed to a deflected second-half goal by Gonzalo Higuain.
Record five-time winners Sevilla launched their Group J campaign with a 5-1 rout of Standard Liege, as Ever Banega and Wissam Ben Yedder both netted twice for the Spaniards.