Babar Azam is one step down in latest ICC men’s Test ranking

In the second Ashes Test at Lord's, Smith recorded his 32nd Test century and won Player of the Match.

Picture source - AFP
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Following a significant shift in the most recent ICC Men’s Test Batters Rankings, Australia veteran Steve Smith is poised to reclaim his position as the top Test batter in the world.

In the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, Smith struck his 32nd Test century, winning Player of the Match, and it allowed the swanky right-hander to move up the batting rankings to second position, only one rating point from the top spot.

Smith had previously been listed at number six. Babar Azam, who formerly occupied position five with 862 rating points, has thus fallen to number six.

After scoring 10 and 18 against Australia, England’s Joe Root loses the top spot, and injured New Zealand veteran Kane Williamson moves up a spot to take it, only one rating point ahead of Smith.

Williamson, a Kiwi who originally attained the top spot in November 2015, has not held the No. 1 spot since August 2021.

Prior to the eagerly anticipated third Ashes Test against England this week at Headingley, Marnus Labuschagne (third), Travis Head (fourth), and Usman Khawaja (seventh) are all within striking distance of the No. 1 spot on the Test batter rankings.

The top five batters on the most recent rankings list are separated by just 17 rating points, so if players do well in Leeds, more change may be in store.

Following their impressive performances at Lord’s, England’s Ben Duckett (up 24 ranks to 18th) and Ben Stokes (up nine spaces to 23rd) both made some progress on the most recent Test rankings for batsmen, while a number of quicks also did well on the new list for bowlers.

On the most recent Test rankings for bowlers, Australia’s captain Pat Cummins jumps two ranks to second overall, closing the gap on India’s Ravichandran Ashwin. Teammate Mitchell Starc also moves up two spaces to 14th.

James Anderson, a seasoned seamer, drops from second to fourth, negating Cummins’ surge, while Josh Tongue, a rookie for England, climbs a massive 27 ranks to 59th following his outstanding performance in London.

In the list of Test all-rounders, Stokes (up one rank to fourth) and Root (up one slot to seventh) gain some ground, with India’s Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin keeping the top two spots.

The current ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier competition in Zimbabwe has already produced a number of highlights with both the bat and the ball, so there was some change in the most recent ODI rankings as well.

On the most recent list of ODI hitters, Ireland’s rising sensation Harry Tector moves up one position to tie for sixth place. Scott Edwards, the captain of the Netherlands, moves up five slots to tie for 35th, and Sri Lanka’s reliable Pathum Nissanka moves up eight spots to tie for 38th place.

Josh Hazlewood of Australia is still ranked first among ODI bowlers, followed by Maheesh Theekshana of Sri Lanka (up 21 spots to 32nd) and Chris Sole of Scotland (up 23 spots to 39th), both of whom improved after strong performances in the Cricket World Cup Qualifier.