LAHORE             -          The Pakistan quartet of Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam has made striking gains in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings.

According to the International Cricket Council (ICC) press release issued here on Tuesday, the Pakistan quartet of Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam has made striking gains in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings after figuring in only the second instance of the top four batsmen of a side making centuries in the same Test innings. Babar has attained a career-best sixth position after his unbeaten 100 against Sri Lanka in the Karachi Test, which Pakistan won by 263 runs to clinch the two-match series 1-0, while Abid’s second successive century has pushed him up to 62nd position after only two Tests.

Abid’s 473 rating points are the second best by a Pakistan batsman after two Tests, only below Umar Akmal’s tally of 499. The all-time high for a batsman after two Tests is 506 rating points in the name of late Australia opener Phil Hughes. If Abid top-scored with 174, his partner Shan too struck a fine 135 in a 278-run opening stand, moving from 52nd to a career-best 40th position. Captain Azhar’s 118 has helped him gain three places and reach 26th in the latest rankings update. Another Pakistan player to progress in the batting rankings is Asad Shafiq (up two places to 20th) while new-ball bowlers Mohammad Abbas (up three places to 15th) and Shaheen Afridi (up eight places to 39th) have also advanced after finishing with five and six wickets, respectively.

Sri Lanka opener Oshada Fernando’s fighting century in the second innings has lifted him 17 places to a career-best 52nd place while Niroshan Dickwella (up two places to 31st) and Dinesh Chandimal (up one place to 33rd) have advanced after scoring a half-century each. Among bowlers, Lahiru Kumara has moved from 36th to 32nd and Kasun Rajitha from 50th to 49th. In the ICC World Test Championship, Pakistan and Sri Lanka both have 80 points, with India leading the points table with 360 points. Australia are second at 216 points after winning the opening match of their ongoing three-Test series against New Zealand and could potentially go up to 296 at the end of the series. England, who are on 56 points, having played only a drawn 2-2 Ashes series, go head to head with South Africa in a four-match series starting with the Boxing Day Test at Centurion. South Africa have yet to gain a point after figuring in a three-match series in India.

Each series of the WTC is worth 120 points, distributed evenly over the number of matches in a series. The points range from 60 points for each match of a two-Test series to 24 for each match of a five-Test series. The top two teams at the end of the league will play the final in the UK in June 2021 with the winners crowned the World Test Champions.

Top 10 Test Batsmen

Rank Player Team

1 Virat Kohli India

2 Steve Smith Aus

3 K Williamson nz

4 C Pujara India

5 M Labuschagne Aus

6 Babar Azam Pak

7 A Rahane India

8 David Warner Aus

9 Joe Root Eng

10 Ross Taylor nz

Other selected rankings

20 Asad Shafiq Pak

26 Azhar Ali Pak

31 N Dickwella SL

33 D Chandimal SL

40 Shan Masood Pak

62 Abid Ali Pak

Top 10 Test BOWLERS

Rank Player Team

1 Pat Cummins Aus

2 Kagiso Rabada SA

3 Neil Wagner NZ

4 Jason Holder WI

5 Mitchell Starc Aus

6 Jasprit Bumrah India

7 J Hazlewood Aus

8 V Philander SA

9 J Anderson Eng

10 Tim Southee NZ

OTHER SELECTED RANKINGS

15 M Abbas Pak

32 Lahiru Kumara SL

39 Shaheen Afridi Pak

49 Kasun Rajitha SL

67 Haris Sohail Pak

79 Naseem Shah Pak