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Sunday, July 21, 2024

ICC Test Rankings: Major gains for England batter; Babar Azam moves up

Srinagar: The Hyderabad Test hero for England, batter Ollie Pope has been rewarded for his heroics by reaching a new career-high rating on the latest ICC Men’s Test Batting Rankings.

Pope stunned India with a magnificent 196 in the second innings of England’s thrilling 28-run triumph in the opening Test of the crucial ICC World Test Championship series on the sub-continent and rose a mammoth 20 places to 15th on the rankings that were updated by the ICC on Wednesday.

It was Pope’s highest Test score away from home and the fourth highest individual innings by an England men’s player in a Test in India and the in-form right-hander made a big jump up the rankings as a result.

New Zealand veteran Kane Williamson remains out in front as the No.1 ranked Test batter in the world and there is a minor re-shuffle inside the top 10 following England’s triumph in Hyderabad and the conclusion of the tied series between Australia and the West Indies. Former Pakistan captain Babar Azam has secured the fifth position in the most recent ICC Test batsmen rankings, accumulating 768 points.

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, while Pope’s England teammate Ben Duckett also improves as he gains five places to 22nd after knocks of 35 and 47 against India.

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.

There’s also a trio of quicks from the West Indies rewarded for their strong showing against Australia, with Kemar Roach (up two places to 17th), Alzarri Joseph (up four places to 33rd) and Player of the Match at the Gabba Shamar Joseph (up 42 spots to equal 50th) all making some ground following the upset victory.

India star 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 once place to fourth behind Jadeja on the updated rankings.



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