Pakistan Test heroes rewarded with rankings boost

F.P. Report

DUBAI: Pakistan stars have risen to new career highs on the latest MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings after registering victory in first Test against Sri Lanka.

The Team Green made an impressive start to the new ICC World Test Championship cycle when they recorded a four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Galle and it was Player of the Match Saud Shakeel that stood out with a brilliant double century in just his sixth Test appearance.

Shakeel’s heroics with the bat saw the left-hander rise 12 spots to 15th and a new career-best rating on the latest rankings for Test batters that is still led by New Zealand veteran Kane Williamson, while a group of his Pakistan teammates also recorded personal best marks.

All-rounder Agha Salman shot up 17 places to 58th overall for batters, while young seamer Naseem Shah (up one place to 44th) and inexperienced spinner Abrar Ahmed (up 12 spots to equal 45th) found new highs on the list for Test bowlers after excellent performances with the ball against Sri Lanka.

While Sri Lanka narrowly lost that first Test at home, they will be buoyed by the fact that spinner Prabath Jayasuriya rose seven places to seventh overall on the list for bowlers following his seven wickets for the match.

Meanwhile, India seamer Mohammed Siraj was the big winner following his side’s draw in the second Test against the West Indies in Trinidad, with the right-armer rising to a new career-high rating when jumping six places to 33rd overall on the list for bowlers.

Australia right-hander and former No.1 ranked batter Marnus Labuschagne rose three places to second overall after his century at Old Trafford, while England trio Joe Root (up three spots to third), Harry Brook (up two places to 11th) and Zak Crawley (up 13 places to 35th) also made some good ground.

England quicks Mark Wood (up three spots to 23rd) and Chris Woakes (up five places to 31st) were the big movers on the list for Test bowlers from an Ashes perspective, with India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin still well out in front of South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada (second) and Australia captain Pat Cummins (third).