Dubai, Oct 27 (IANS) England batsman Joe Root has regained the No.1 ranking while Pakistani wrist spinner Yasir Shah has become the second highest-ranked bowler in the world in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) Test player rankings released on Tuesday.
Root scored 88 and 71 against Pakistan in the Dubai Test which has helped him reclaim the top spot from Australia captain Steven Smith. Root, who entered the Test trailing Smith by 13 points, now leads the Australian by three points. This means the Yorkshire batsman will have to perform strongly in the third Test, starting in Sharjah from Sunday, to retain the position he first achieved following the Trent Bridge Test against Australia in August.
Younus Khan, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq have also reaped the rewards of good performances in the Dubai Test, which went down to the wire. Younus has returned to the top-5 in fifth position following knocks of 56 and 118, Misbah has moved up five places to 11th following his scores of 102 and 87, and Asad Shafiq has achieved a career-high 12th after he scored 83 and 87.
For this performance, Asad has earned 43 points, which, in turn, has put him ahead of Virat Kohli, Ross Taylor, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Brendon McCullum and Faf du Plessis.
The Dubai Test was also a memorable one for Pakistani leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who achieved the No.2 ranking for the first time in his career. Yasir picked up 8/180 in Pakistan’s 178 runs victory, which earned him 25 points. This has enabled him to leapfrog the pace trio of England’s James Anderson and Stuart Broad, and New Zealand’s Trent Boult.
Given that Yasir is still in the qualification period for bowlers, it is likely that he will be able to further reduce the 78-point gap with World No.1 Dale Steyn if he puts up another solid show in Sharjah.
In the Team rankings, there is no change. Sri Lanka and West Indies continue to hold seventh and eighth positions. However, Pakistan have given themselves an excellent opportunity to claim the second spot. To make this happen, they will have to win the Sharjah Test. And should Pakistan win, they will join Australia on 106 points but will be ranked above Australia when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.
If England draw level, both sides will retain their pre-series rankings and points. In case of a draw, England will drop to fifth to push both Pakistan and India one place up.
ICC Test team rankings:
1. South Africa 125 points 2. Australia 106 3. England 102 4. Pakistan 101 5. India 100 6. New Zealand 99 7. Sri Lanka 93 8. West Indies 76 9. Bangladesh 47 10. Zimbabwe 5
ICC Test batsman rankings:
1. Joe Root (Eng) 913 points 2. Steven Smith (Aus) 910 3. AB de Villiers (SA) 890 4. Hashim Amla (SA) 881 5. Younus Khan (Pak) 854 6. Angelo Mathews (SL) 851 7. Kane Williamson (NZ) 813 8. Alastair Cook (Eng) 783 9. David Warner (Aus) 775 10. Chris Rogers (Aus) 761
ICC Test bowler rankings:
1. Dale Steyn (SA) 905 points 2. Yasir Shah (Pak) 827 3. James Anderson (Eng) 824 4. Stuart Broad (Eng) 817 5. Trent Boult (NZ) 814 6. Mitchell Johnson (Aus) 773 7. Vernon Philander (SA) 770 8. Ravichandran Ashwin (Ind) 760 9. Rangana Herath (SL) 751 10. Tim Southee (NZ) 713