Smith rated among game's best batsmen
STEVE Smith has attained one of the highest batting ratings in Test cricket's 130-year history, according to figures released by the International Cricket Council.
Smith's rating of 941 after the Ranchi Test is the fifth highest ever recorded - just one point behind Jack Hobbs and Ricky Ponting, three adrift of Len Hutton and 20 short of the career-high of 961 set by Don Bradman.
The incumbent Australian captain, who scored 178 not out and 21 in the third Test against India, has now skipped clear of West Indies icons Garfield Sobers, Clyde Walcott and Viv Richards as well as Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, all of whom reached career-high ratings of 938.
Astonishingly, the top-ranked Smith is 80 points ahead of No.2 Cheteshwar Pujara on the current ICC Test ladder and a whopping 115 points clear of fourth-placed Virat Kohli.
The highest rating a player can receive is 1000.
David Warner is the only other Australian batsman ranked in the top 10 Test batsmen, falling three places to No.8, while Peter Handscomb rose six places to a career best 35th after his second-innings heroics in Ranchi.
Josh Hazlewood remains the No.1 Test paceman in the world, while Ravi Jadeja has displaced Ravi Ashwin as the top-ranked Test bowler after his nine-wicket haul in the third Test against Australia.
Jadeja is one point away from joining Ashwin as the only Indian bowlers to have attained a rating of 900 or better.
Meanwhile, Australia's players will secure a $US500,000 payday should they draw or win the final Test against India in Dharamshala, starting on Saturday.
The ICC hands out prize money on April 1 each year to the top-ranked Test playing nations.
India is guaranteed the $US1 million winners' cheque regardless of the result in Dharamshala given the big lead they have built atop the Test ladder over the last year.
A draw would be enough to secure Australia second place and a windfall of $US500,000.
But should the Australians lose, and the South Africans win or draw their series finale against New Zealand in Hamilton, Smith's men would be relegated to third and take home a somewhat more modest $US200,000.