The Roar
The Roar


Opening up sends Smith falling to lowest ranking points for a decade

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6th March, 2024

Steve Smith’s latest disappointment with the bat since being moved to opener has left the Australian batting great plummeting to his lowest points tally in the ICC world Test rankings in a decade.

The rating for the 34-year-old, who scored 31 before a second-innings duck against New Zealand in Australia’s first-Test win, has dropped below 800 points for the first time since 2014 as he was relegated one place to third in the rankings behind England’s Joe Root.

New Zealander Kane Williamson (870 points) remains comfortably at the top of the charts despite his own disappointing time in Wellington as he made just nine and nought, while a century against India elevated Root.

At the end of January, Smith was in defensive mood about his new opening role when he carried his bat for 91 in the narrow Test defeat against West Indies at the Gabba, pointing out his average at the top of the order was 60.

That’s no longer the case after he got cleaned up by Tim Southee in the first over of the second innings in Wellington.

Marnus Labuschagne, who like Smith has been a No.1 ranked batter, has dropped out of the top 10 for the first time since December 2019 after he was dismissed for one and two in Wellington.

But there was one big Australian mover in the right direction as Cameron Green’s unbeaten 174 in the first innings and 34 in the second elevated him 22 places in the rankings to 23rd on the list.


Among the bowlers, Nathan Lyon’s match-winning10-wicket haul against New Zealand moves him to sixth in the rankings. 

Another performance like that this week in Christchurch would move him past his career-best rating 799 points reached after the Edgbaston Ashes Test in 2023.