Steve Smith

The International Cricket Council (ICC) year-end rankings for Test batsmen have been dominated by the captains as Australia skipper Steven Smith has clinched the top spot, ahead of his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli.

According to the last rankings of 2017 released by the ICC, the Royal Challengers Bangalore star has amassed a total of 893 points, 54 points behind leader Smith. India's Cheteshwar Pujara is third in the list, 20 points behind Kohli.

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, behind cricket legend Sir Don Bradman.

The right-handed Australian is however, two points ahead of Len Hutton (945) in the all-time list. The fourth place is shared by England captain Joe Root and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. They started 2017 in third and fourth position respectively.

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.

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.

Australia opener David Warner is at sixth, 24 points behind Root and Williamson, after his scores of 103 and 86 in the fourth Ashes Test earned him 30 points. Warner had started 2017 at the fifth position.

(Input from IANS)