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Babar Azam’s gains continue in Test rankings

Babar Azam’s gains continue in Test rankings

Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who is the only player to feature in top three ICC player rankings across formats by the virtue of being number one in ODIs and T20Is and number three in Tests, has made further strides in the newly-updated ICC Test player rankings.

The 27-year-old has closed his gap in Test rankings with second-ranked Australian batter Marnus Labuschange by improving his rating points by five and jumping to 879. Labuschange sits a rung above the Pakistan captain with 885 points, while England’s Joe Root continues to lead the table.

The Pakistan captain was the joint-highest run-getter with Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal in the recently drawn two-Test series in Galle. The two scored 271 runs, with Babar being one of the three batters to score centuries – with his compatriot Abdullah Shafique and Sri Lanka’s Dhananajaya de Silva being the other two.

In the current ICC World Test Championship cycle, Babar has the third most runs with 953 at an average of 63.53. He has struck two centuries and seven half-centuries.

Despite missing the second Test due to a knee injury, Shaheen continues to occupy the third spot. He is joined by India’s Jasprit Bumrah, who jumps a place. The two bowlers have the most wickets in the current ICC WTC cycle. Bumrah leads the table with 45 scalps in 19 innings, while Shaheen has snared 41 wickets in 15 innings.

Australia Test captain Pat Cummins and Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin continue to occupy first and second place in the rankings for bowlers.

In other developments in the batters’ rankings, Pakistan Test vice-captain and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan has jumped three places to 17th spot and Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq has entered top fifty for the first time since his Test debut. After jumping 15 places, Imam joins Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza on 49.

The star of the first Galle Test, Abdullah Shafique, whose incredible 160 not out, helped Pakistan to highest run chase at the venue, has slipped four spots to 20th.

Pacer Hasan Ali and leg-spinner Yasir Shah have also dropped places. The former has slipped four rungs to 17th and the latter two places to 34th.

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