Babar Azam attains career-best Test ranking; Abdullah Shafique, Prabath Jayasuriya take big leap

Shaheen Afridi is another Pakistan player to gain in the latest weekly update, moving up one place to a career best-equaling third position.

Babar Azam and Niroshan Dickwella
Babar Azam and Niroshan Dickwella. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

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Pakistan opener Abdullah Shafique and Sri Lanka spinner Prabath Jayasuriya continue to soar in the ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings after splendid performances in the first Test of their ICC World Test Championship series in Galle.

Abdullah, who was declared Player of the Match for his second innings knock of 160 and has amassed 720 runs in his first six Tests, advanced 23 slots to reach 16th position with a Pakistan record of 671 rating points. The previous best by a Pakistan batter after six Tests was Saeed Ahmed’s 614 rating points and only two batters have ever had more points after six Tests – Sunil Gavaskar (692) and Donald Bradman (687).

Left-arm spinner Jayasuriya, whose 21 wickets rank him joint-third in terms of most wickets after two Tests, has moved up 11 places to 44th position with 481 rating points, the fourth highest by any bowler after two Tests. Narendra Hirwani (519), Alec Bedser (500) and Bob Massie (494) had higher rating points after two Tests.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam’s scores of 119 and 55 see him overtake Australia’s Steve Smith to reach a career high third ranking with a career best rating of 874 points. Babar is currently top ranked in both ODIs and T20Is and remains the only batter in the top 10 of all three lists.

Fast bowler Shaheen Afridi is another Pakistan player to gain in the latest weekly update, moving up one place to a career best-equaling third position after grabbing four wickets in the first innings. Hasan Ali and Yasir Shah have gained a slot each to reach 13th and 32nd positions, respectively.

Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal has gained 11 slots to reach 18th position after scores of 76 and 94 not out while Kusal Mendis (up two places to 47th) and Oshada Fernando (up 11 places to 58th) too have made headway in the Test rankings.

In the Men’s ODI Player Rankings, South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has progressed two places to fourth after his 92 not out in the third match against England that was washed out by rain, ending the series at 1-1. England fast bowler David Willey has moved up to 23rd position among bowlers.

Performances in the first two matches of the West Indies versus India series were also considered in the latest weekly update.

India captain Shikhar Dhawan, who scored a match-winning 97 in the first ODI, has moved up one place to joint-13th while Shreyas Iyer is up 20 places to joint-54th among batters. Fast bowler Mohammad Siraj is in the top 100.

For the West Indies, opener Shai Hope is up three places to 12th after his valiant 115 in the second match while fast bowler Alzarri Joseph has gained two places to reach 16th position after grabbing two wickets each in both matches.

In the Men’s T20I Player Rankings, New Zealand players Glenn Phillips (up three places to joint-27th among batters) and fast bowler Lockie Ferguson (up five places to 35th among bowlers) have made notable progress, as have Ireland bowlers Mark Adair and Joshua Little, who are in 43rd and 44th positions, respectively.

ICC Test batters ranking

1 Joe Root ENG 923
2 Marnus Labuschagne  AUS 885
3 Babar Azam  PAK 874
4 Steve Smith  AUS 848
5 Rishabh Pant  IND 801
6 Kane Williamson  NZ 786
7 Usman Khawaja  AUS 766
8 Dimuth Karunaratne  SL 746
9 Rohit Sharma  IND 746
10 Jonny Bairstow  ENG 742