Srinagar: Australia batter Travis Head and Pakistan skipper Babar Azam have recieved major jumps in the latest ICC Test Ranking for batters with Australia jumping to career-high second place on the latest MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Batting Rankings.
Head jumps two places and up to second behind New Zealand veteran Kane Williamson on the back of his tremendous Ashes series against England that has already netted the 29-year-old a total of 266 runs at an average of 44.33.
In the most recent Test of that series in Headingley, Head contributed scores of 39 and 77 and was a major reason why the visitors went close to recording a third consecutive Ashes victory.
Head’s rise up the batter charts has seen yet another re-shuffle at the top of the batting rankings, with Pakistan captain Babar Azam jumping three places to third and fellow Australians Steve Smith (fourth) and Marnus Labuschagne (fifth) and England’s Joe Root (sixth) all dropping one spot in what is an enthralling race for top billing.
There was plenty of good news for England following the narrow three-wicket triumph in Leeds, with young gun Harry Brook rising one place to a career-high rating and 12th place in the rankings after his superb half-century in the second innings and skipper Ben Stokes improved five spots to 18th.
England’s seamers also enjoyed some joy via the latest Test bowler rankings, with veteran right-armer Stuart Broad improving four spots to sixth behind India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and returning pacer Mark Wood jumping nine places to 26th overall following his Player of the Match heroics against the Aussies.
Australia quick Mitchell Starc claimed seven wickets in that Headingley Test and was duly rewarded with a three-spot jump on the bowler rankings to 11th overall.
The recently-completed ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament in Zimbabwe saw some changes to the latest ODI rankings. It was no surprise that a host of Sri Lanka stars were the main beneficiaries after their unbeaten run at the event saw them named champions and helped them qualify for the 50-over World Cup in India at the end of the year.
Opener Pathum Nissanka was the second-leading run-scorer at the event and he moved up nine places to equal 29th on the rankings for batters, while spinner Maheesh Theekshana managed 21 wickets – only one less than compatriot and fellow tweaker Wanindu Hasaranga – and shot up 13 spots to 19th on the list for bowlers.
Netherlands seamer Logan van Beek (up 14 places on the bowler rankings to 52nd) was the other big mover following the Qualifier tournament, while there was some eye-catching improvement from a host of players following the ODI series between Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Century makers Ibrahim Zadran (up 11 places to 16th) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (up 37 spots to 45th) were the biggest movers on the list for ODI batters, while star spinner Rashid Khan (up three spots to fourth) and left-armer Fazalhaq Farooqi (up 58 places to equal 33rd) also made some ground on the bowler rankings.