ICC unveils latest Test rankings, Pakistani player inch up the table

ICC unveils latest Test rankings, Pakistani player inch up the table

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Babar Azam has improved his ranking by 16 places, finishing in 63rd spot in the ICC Test Player Rankings released on Tuesday.

Babar Azam of Pakistan has improved his ranking following contributions of 62 and 13 in a low-scoring thriller against New Zealand that eventually ended in a four-run victory for the visitors in Abu Dhabi, a press release said.

New Zealand’s Henry Nicholls has vaulted 13 places to a career-high 20th position following his crucial 28 and 55 in the match.

Yasir Shah of Pakistan and Bangladesh’s spin duo of Taijul Islam and Mehedi Hasan are the biggest movers inside the top-30 in the bowlers’ category.

Yasir has returned inside the top-20 in 19th position after climbing two places following his match figures of eight for 163, while Taijul and Mehedi have achieved career-high positions. Taijul has moved three places to 27th following figures of five for 107 and two for 93, while Mehdi has leaped seven places to 28th following his eight wickets in the match.

Outside the top-30, Zimbabwe’s Kyle Jarvis has risen 19 places to 40th, Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya is 41st (up by 14 places), Jack Leach of England is 43rd (up by 14 places) and Hasan Ali of Pakistan is 44th (up by 24 places).

New Zealand’s Ajaz Patel, who scripted a famous win for his side on his debut with match figures of seven for 123, has entered the rankings in 68th spot. The bowlers’ list is headed by James Anderson of England, who has become the oldest bowler to be number-one since Muttiah Muralidaran in July 2009.

However, England will be ranked second on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings when these are updated following the conclusion of their series against Sri Lanka in Colombo next week.

England’s 57-run victory in the second Test in Pallekele have given them an unassailable 2-0 lead and with it have also assured them of moving one place up to second irrespective of how the third Test pans out.

If England win the Colombo Test, they will finish on 108 points, two more than South Africa, while Sri Lanka’s win will mean England will join South Africa on 106 points but will be ranked above the African side by a fraction of a point.

A drawn Test will mean England will finish on 107 points – nine points behind number-one ranked India and one point ahead of South Africa – while Sri Lanka will slip to seventh place on 94 points in this scenario after starting the series on 97 points.

Meanwhile, there have been plenty of movements in the latest MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings, which incorporates player performances in the Abu Dhabi, Mirpur and Pallekele Tests.

In the batting charts, Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim has achieved a highest-ever position of 18th to date following his double-century against Zimbabwe. From the same match, Zimbabwe’s Brendon Taylor’s two centuries (110 and 106 not out) have lifted him 18 places to 27th position and Mahmudullah has moved from 74th to 57th following scores of 36 and 101 not out.

The biggest movers from the Pallekele Test have been Angelo Mathews and Roshen Silva of Sri Lanka, and England’s Ben Foakes. Mathews has returned to the top-20 in 16th position after jumping five places, Silva is now 53rd (up by 25 places) and Foakes is 54th (up by 15 places) only after two Tests.

The batting table is headed by Virat Kohli of India, followed by Australia’s Steve Smith, Kane Williamson of New Zealand and England’s Joe Root, who has collected 19 points following scores of 14 and 124 that also earned him the player of the match award. - APP