Root hit a Test-best 200 not out that helped England recover from 120 for four to 575 all out in the first innings against Sri Lanka at Lord's
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England’s Joe Root and Gary Ballance have achieved their career-best rankings to date in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen after hitting fine centuries against Sri Lanka in the first Test, which ended in an exciting draw at Lord’s on Monday.
Root hit a Test-best 200 not out that helped England recover from 120 for four to 575 all out in the first innings. For this achievement, the 23-year-old from Yorkshire not only won the man of the match award but was rewarded with a jump of 15 places, which has put him in 23rd position.
Root now has his captain Alastair Cook firmly within his sights. Cook is in 19th position and leads the young batsman by 29 ratings points, but trails 17th ranked Ian Bell by nine ratings points.
Ballance had scores of 23 and 104 not out, which have lifted him 44 places to break into the top 100, in 89th position. The left-handed batsman will be aiming for further improvement in his ranking when he takes guard in the second Test, which starts at Headingley, Leeds, on Friday.
The Lord’s Test also saw Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews score their maiden Test centuries at that venue.
Sangakkara, who won the ICC Cricketer of the Year as well as ICC Test Cricketer of the Year awards in Colombo in 2012, has regained the number-two position from West Indies’ Shivnarine Chanderpaul following scores of 147 and 61.
However, the West Indian, who won the ICC Cricketer of the Year award in 2008, can reclaim the second spot if he performs strongly in the ongoing second Test in Port of Spain.
Angelo Mathews, who scored 102 and 18, has earned five ratings points to 711, which has helped him narrow the gap with Australia’s 12th ranked Steven Smith to 26 ratings points.
South Africa’s AB de Villiers leads the batting table with 922 ratings points.
Meanwhile the only change in the top 20 of the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers is James Anderson, who has swapped places with Pakistan’s Abdur Rehman. Anderson had match figures of seven for 118 runs, and he has now moved ahead of the Pakistan spinner into 13th position.
Outside the top 20, Shaminda Eranga of Sri Lanka has gained two places and is now in 27th position. Eranga had figures of three for 163 and three for 63.