Cricket: Australia's Smith no longer number one

Cricket: Australia's Smith no longer number one
Australia's captain Michael Clarke talks to Australia's Steven Smith (L) during play on the third day of the opening Ashes cricket test match between England and Australia at The Swalec Stadium in Cardiff, south Wales, on July 10, 2015.
PHOTO: AFP

CARDIFF, United Kingdom - Australia's Steven Smith is no longer the world's number one ranked Test batsman after twice being out cheaply in his side's crushing opening Ashes defeat by England in Cardiff.

Smith had gone into the match top of the International Cricket Council' Test batting rankings, with five hundreds in his last six Tests at an average of 131.5.

But several England players questioned whether Smith's unorthodox technique would yield similar results in British conditions.

Smith was twice out for 33 as Ashes-holders Australia lost by a heavy 169 runs with more than a day to spare at Cardiff's Sophia Gardens on Saturday to go 1-0 down in the five-match series.

That was enough to drop him down to second place in the latest ICC batting rankings published Sunday, with South Africa's AB de Villiers now top of the pile.

England's Joe Root climbed to a career-high fourth on the back of his 134 in Cardiff which the 24-year-old said was the best of his seven Test hundreds.

The Yorkshireman made 60 in the second innings as England extended their lead beyond 400.

In the bowling rankings, England's Stuart Broad, who took five wickets in Cardiff and played a key role in Australia's collapse on Saturday as they lost four wickets for nine runs, moved up to fifth place.

South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn remained top of the rankings, with James Anderson, Broad's new-ball partner, staying in second place.

However, Mitchell Johnson - who took 37 wickets during Australia's 5-0 Ashes rout of England in 2013/14 - dropped two positions to seventh after the left-arm fast bowler managed just two wickets for 180 runs in Cardiff.

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