Wednesday, January 31, 2024
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Babar Azam moves up five places in ICC Test rankings

Former skipper's performance in recent Test series played role in improving his ranking

Pakistans former skipper Babar Azam plays a shot during a Test match in this undated image. — Reuters/File
Pakistan's former skipper Babar Azam plays a shot during a Test match in this undated image. — Reuters/File

Former Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has moved up five places to secure the fifth spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Rankings for batters, the latest update showed.

The 29-year-old previously stood at 10th but his ranking improved significantly following his performance in the recently concluded Test series. Failure of Indian and Australian batters to perform well in their respective Test matches also played a role for the Pakistani to improve.

Meanwhile, England batter Ollie Pope has been rewarded for his heroics during the first Test against India by reaching a new career-high rating. He rose a mammoth 20 places to 15th.

New Zealand veteran Kane Williamson remains out in front as the No 1 ranked Test batter in the world. Australia opener Usman Khawaja gains two places to eighth following a half-century in the opening innings of the second Test against the Caribbean side at the Gabba. India's star Virat Kohli, who will also miss the second Test against England, is now at sixth.

India veteran Ravichandran Ashwin maintains his place at the head of the Test rankings for bowlers following his six wickets against England, with teammate Jasprit Bumrah closing in on top position as he gains a spot and jumps to fourth following six scalps of his own in Hyderabad. South Africa's Kagiso Rabada is ranked second while Australia's captain Pat Cummins is now positioned at third.

On the other hand, India's Ravindra Jadeja enjoys a healthy buffer at the head of the Test all-rounder rankings, but he may have a new challenger soon if England veteran Joe Root can continue his recent decent performances with the ball.

While Root is more renowned for his efforts with the willow, the 33-year-old collected five wickets against India with his more than handy spin - and even opened the bowling for England during the second innings.

This effort has seen Root rise to a new career-high rating on the list for Test all-rounder and seen the evergreen England star jump one place to fourth behind Jadeja on the updated rankings.