Pakistan Players On The Move In ICC Rankings

Dubai Test century-makers have vaulted in the latest Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen following the conclusion of the first Test, which Pakistan won by 221 runs to end Australia’s hopes of moving on top of the ICC Test Team Rankings.  Australia opener David Warner, who scored 133 in Australia’s first innings score of 303, has moved up one place to a career-high fourth position.  He now has West Indies’ Shivnarine Chanderpaul firmly within his sights as only 12 ratings point separate the two left-handers.

Pakistan’s Younis Khan, who scored two centuries in the Test to become Pakistan’s most successful batsman in terms of centuries scored, has gained four places and has claimed seventh position.  With captain Misbah-ul-Haq slipping one place to 11th, Khan is now Pakistan’s highest-ranked batsman.  Pakistan wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed and opener Ahmed Shehzad, who scored 109 and 131 respectively, have also made impressive gains.

Sarfraz, whose innings of 109 helped Pakistan score 454 after put into bat, has helped him rise 12 places to 38th, while Shehzad’s contribution of 131 in the second innings that allowed the home side to declare its second innings at 286 for two to set Australia a victory target of 438, has helped him rocket 14 places to 52nd.  In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Pakistan’s spin duo of Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah have stormed up the charts.

Zulfiqar, who returned match figures of 7/155, has jumped 46 places to claim 51st spot, while Yasir has entered in 62nd place following figures of 3/66 adn 4/50.  Australia’s Mitchell Johnson has also been rewarded for his contribution of three wickets in the match and scores of 37 and 61.  He has now moved ahead of England’s Stuart Broad in fourth position in the ICC Player Rankings for Test All-rounders.

Pakistan’s victory in the Dubai Test has not only ensured that it will move ahead of India in fifth position irrespective of how the Abu Dhabi Test ends, it has dashed Australia hopes of regaining the number-one Test ranking.  To move ahead of South Africa, Australia had needed to win both the Test.  Now, its best series result can be a one-all draw, which will keep it in second position but three points behind South Africa.

In contrast, if Pakistan wins the second Test, then it will leapfrog England, Sri Lanka and India into third position.  A one-all draw will mean it will finish in fifth place on 99 ratings points – three ahead of India and two behind fourth-ranked Sri Lanka, while a drawn Test in Abu Dhabi will see Pakistan move to fourth place.