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Kohli holds on to 2nd spot in ICC rankings 

Dubai, Dec 31 (IANS) Indian captain Virat Kohli held onto the second spot in the year-end rankings for Test batsmen just behind Australian Steve Smith, while Cheteshwar Pujara remained at the third spot.

According to the last rankings of 2017 released by the International Cricket Council (ICC) here on Sunday, Kohli has amassed a total of 893 points with Smith enjoying a comfortable lead at the top spot with 947 points. Pujara is trailing Kohli by 20 points.

Smith’s contributions of 76 and 102 not out in the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne have not only strengthened his position at the top of the table but also given him sole possession of second place for the highest-ever ranking points.

For his efforts in Melbourne, Smith earned two points and is now 14 points behind Don Bradman (961) and two points ahead of Len Hutton (945) in the all-time list.

Meanwhile, a magnificent unbeaten double century by England opener Alastair Cook in the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne has helped him to finish the year inside the top 10.

The 33-year-old left-hander remained not out on 244 in his side’s first innings score of 491, which has helped him to jump nine places to the eighth position. 

He will now start 2018 with South Africa’s seventh-ranked Hashim Amla firmly within his sights. Amla is 17 points ahead of the former England captain.

Cook had begun the year in 15th position, and had entered the Ashes at the 10th spot.

England captain Joe Root is the other batsman to improve his ranking, when he moved up one place to join New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson at the fourth place. 

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