Smith, Ashwin feted

DUBAI: Australia captain Steve Smith and India offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin have finished the year as the No 1-ranked batsman and bowler, respectively, in the International Cricket Council Test player rankings. Smith, who last week was named ICC cricketer and Test player of the year, entered the Melbourne Test against the West Indies in fourth position. But after scoring 134 not out and an unbeaten 70 in Australia’s 177-run win over the West Indies, Smith moved ahead of Kane Williamson of New Zealand, England’s Joe Root and AB de Villiers of South Africa. The ICC said on Thursday that Ashwin claimed the No 1 bowling spot for the first time in his career, taking a 2015-best 62 wickets in nine Tests, including seven five-wicket hauls.