England captain Joe Root’s match-winning 218 in the first Test against India has helped him advance two places to third position, overtaking counterpart Virat Kohli in the process, while debutant West Indies batsman Kyle Mayers and Pakistan fast bowler Hasan Ali provide much delight to their fans in the updated MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings.
Root, who helped his team to a memorable 227-run victory in Chennai that kept England in contention for the ICC World Test Championship final, has reached 883 rating points, his highest since September 2017, after a fabulous run in the sub-continent has seen him accumulate 684 runs in three Tests, two of which were in Sri Lanka.
Ahead of Kohli for the first time since November 2017, Root is now 36 points behind top-ranked Kane Williamson and trails Steve Smith by only eight points. With Marnus Labuschagne also in the mix, competition for the top five slots is intense with all of them above 850 rating points.
Opener Dom Sibley is another England batsman to gain in the latest rankings update, his knocks of 87 and 16 helping him gain 11 places and reach 35th position, while their players also made the way up in the bowling rankings presently led by Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins.
Formerly top-ranked James Anderson is up to third from sixth and only four points behind compatriot Stuart Broad, a fellow-member of the 500-wicket club. Anderson is at his highest ranking since the start of the ICC World Test Championship while spinners Jack Leach and Dominic Bess are both at career-best rating points, moving up to 37th and 41st positions, respectively.
For India, Rishabh Pant’s knock of 91 in the first innings has helped him become the first full-time wicketkeeper from his country to reach 700 rating points as he retained 13th position among batsmen. Shubman Gill has progressed seven places to 40th position while all-rounder Washington Sundar is in 81st place after moving up two slots. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem too has gained two places to reach 85th position among bowlers.
Mayers, whose scores of 40 and 210 not out helped script an epic win in the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong, has entered the rankings in 70th position with 448 rating points, the best by a West Indian batsman on debut and the second-best ever on debut after RE Foster, who was on 449 rating points back in 1903 after scoring 287 on debut for England against Australia in Sydney.
Others to gain for the West Indies include captain Kraigg Brathwaite (up eight places to 53rd) among batsmen and the spin pair of Jomel Warrican (up 14 places to 62nd) and Rahkeem Cornwall (up six places to 65th).
For Bangladesh, captain Mominul Haque’s 10th Test century has lifted him eight places to 33rd. All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has gained four slots to reach 30th position among batsmen while off-spinner Mehidy Hasan has progressed from 28th to 24th position.
Pakistan completing a 2-0 sweep over South Africa is followed with good news from the rankings perspective as well, especially with regard to fast bowling.
Hasan Ali’s 10-wicket match haul that earned him the Player of the Match award, has lifted him a huge 21 places to 32nd position. With two other fast bowlers – Mohammad Abbas in 12th place and Shaheen Afridi on 30th (after gaining four places), their fast-bowling unit is arguably the strongest since 2007, when Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul were all ranked in the top 20.
Among their batsmen, player of the series Mohammad Rizwan has attained a career-best 16th place after scores of 26 and 115 helped him make a leap of 19 places in the list. Babar Azam has moved ahead of India’s premier Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara while Faheem Ashraf and Fawad Alam too have continued their ascent.
Faheem had scores of 78 not out and 29 in the second Test, which lifted him from 66th to 47th position while Fawad has gained four places to reach 74th position after aggregating 57 runs in the two innings.
South Africa’s Aiden Markram has advanced from 23rd to 14th position after scoring 32 and 44 not out while Temba Bavuma is in 49th position from 61st with 108 and 61 in his two innings. Anrich Nortje (up five places to 33rd) and George Linde (up 36 places to 74) have moved up among bowlers.