Babar Azam improves Test ranking after Sri Lanka series triumph

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Babar Azam, a stylish batter leading Pakistan’s cricket team, has improved his Test ranking, the latest ICC Men’s Test Rankings showed Wednesday, as his side defeated Sri Lanka 2-0 in the long format.

The Pakistani skipper has jumped two spots to the fourth position. Above him are Australia’s Steve Smith, England’s Joe Root, and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson.

Babar, who managed to score just 76 runs in the recently concluded Test series against Sri Lanka, benefitted from the demotion of Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head.

Labuschagne (328) and Head (362) lost their rating despite finishing seventh and eighth highest-scorer in the Ashes Test series.

Shaheen Shah Afridi, who bagged six wickets in two Tests against Sri Lanka, has jumped three positions to sixth.

Pakistan’s Saud Shakeel and Abdullah Shafique are currently ranked 15th and 21st respectively. Both the batters scored their maiden double-hundred against Sri Lanka in their backyard.

After the Ashes series retention, Australia’s Steve Steve Smith jumped from fifth to third position. England’s Joe Root (412), the third-highest run-scorer in the Ashes Tests, grabbed second position.

New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, who last played a Test back in March this year, retained the top position with a ranking of 883. Williamson got injured during this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) and his participation in the upcoming World Cup is also unlikely.

Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin leads the bowlers’ chart with a rating of 879. His compatriot Ravindra Jadeja climbed up to third position.

England’s veteran pacer Stuart Broad grabbed fourth position which would be his last ranking as the latter took retirement from Test cricket.