Root takes over as leading Test batsman

Joe Root has rubbed further salt in Australia’s Ashes wounds, overtaking Steve Smith to be the new No.1 ranked Test batsman.

Australia’s captain-in-waiting Smith drops to third spot behind South Africa’s AB de Villiers in the wake of the shattering innings and 78 runs defeat by England which clinched the Ashes at Trent Bridge.

Root, who top scored with 130 in England’s innings, is just the sixth English player to top either the batting or bowling world rankings – joining batsmen David Gower, Graham Gooch and Michael Vaughan and bowlers Ian Botham and Steve Harmison.

Countryman Stuart Broad climbed a to career-high No.2 in the bowling standings behind South Africa’s Dale Steyn in the wake of his remarkable spell of 8-15 in the first innings of the fourth Test.

For Australia, David Warner has dropped out of the batting top 10 and is now in 11th place, while struggling skipper Michael Clarke dropped another place to 23rd as he prepares to end his career after the fifth Test.

The Ashes may be lost but Australia will be playing to retain its world No.2 Test nation status at The Oval.

If England win the series 4-1, Australia will drop to 102 points while England will advance to second place on 105 points.

If Australia win the Test it will stay ahead of England in the rankings on 106 points, with England on 102 points.

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