Babar Azam storms into top 10 in the latest ICC Test rankings for batsmen
Smith is now 17 rating points behind Virat Kohli while Labushagne has surged to number five.
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Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne has continued his surge up the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings, entering the top five in the list for batsmen after scores of 143 and 50 in the Perth Test, which his side won by 296 runs against New Zealand.
Labuschagne, who narrowly missed joining Pakistan’s Zaheer Abbas and Mudassar Nazar in scoring at least 150 in three successive Test innings, has gained three slots to occupy fifth place. He has overtaken compatriot David Warner and is the second-highest ranked Australia batsman after Steve Smith.
Travis Head has moved up two slots to 32nd position while the Australia bowlers to advance include pacemen Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. Starc’s ‘player of the match’ effort of 9/97 in the first Test has lifted him to a career-best fifth spot and career-best 806 rating points. Starc was also fifth in March 2018 while his previous best points aggregate was 805 in December 2016. Hazlewood has moved from eighth to seventh position.
New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has gained five places to reach 11th position after scores of 80 and 22 while Colin de Grandhomme is up three places to 40th. Neil Wagner’s seven wickets have helped him reclaim third position among bowlers with a career-best tally of 834 rating points. Tim Southee is back in the top 10 after his nine-wicket match haul.
Monday’s rankings update includes the drawn first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi and the home side players have a few things to cheer about in terms of rankings. Babar Azam has reached the top 10 for the first time, moving from 13th to ninth position after his unbeaten knock of 102. He is currently No.1 in the T20I rankings and has enjoyed the best ranking of second in the ODIs.
Opener Abid Ali’s 109*, which made him the first male cricketer and only the second after former England woman opener Enid Bakewell to score centuries on both Test and ODI debuts, has entered the rankings at an impressive 78th position.
What about the bowlers?
Left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi (up two places to 47th) and Naseem Shah (up 15 places to 110th) have also gained in the latest update. Sri Lanka batsman Angelo Mathews has gained one place to reach 23rd and Dhananjaya de Silva has moved from 43rd to 35th. Lahiru Kumara has gone from 38th to 36th among Sri Lanka’s bowlers.
In the ICC World Test Championship, Australia are on 216 points in the points table led by India while New Zealand remain on 60. Pakistan and Sri Lanka got 20 points each for the draw. Sri Lanka are on 80 points, having drawn a preceding two-match series against New Zealand to get 60 points, while Pakistan have their first points after having lost both Tests of their recent series in Australia.
Here are the latest ICC Test player rankings
Top 10 batsmen
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Top 10 bowlers
Top 5 all-rounders