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England, Pakistan players eye improved rankings, key WTC points

Azhar Ali and Babar Azam
The likes of Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes will be ones to watch during the upcoming three-Test series between England and Pakistan.

• Azhar, Babar and Abbas among Pakistan players to watch against England; the likes of Stokes and Broad will be looking to build on gains in West Indies series

• Opportunity for England and Pakistan to move up in ICC World Test Championship points table

Pakistan players will be aiming to progress in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings as they revive their campaign in the ICC World Test Championship with a three-match series against England starting in Manchester on Wednesday.

Captain Azhar Ali and vice-captain Babar Azam will be among the players in focus for Pakistan, up against a side that last week completed its first come from behind three-Test series win on home soil since 1888, with players like Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad performing splendidly against the West Indies to make massive gains in the player rankings.

Azhar, presently 27th among batsmen, will be hoping to regain the form that lifted him to sixth in December 2016, while Babar will be hoping to progress from a career-best aggregate of 800 rating points. Babar is currently sixth after having occupied a career-high fifth place in February.

Asad Shafiq (18th) and Shan Masood (33rd) are other Pakistan batsmen to have enjoyed higher rankings in the past but will have to contend with a sharp bowling attack in order to move up again.

Fast bowler Mohammad Abbas (13th) and experienced leg-spinner Yasir Shah (24th), who have in the past, been ranked third and first, respectively, and left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi (32nd) are other Pakistan players to watch.

For England, Stokes displaced West Indies captain Jason Holder from the top of the all-rounders’ list during their last series and formerly top-ranked Broad rose to third position in the bowlers’ list, currently led by Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins.

Stokes is also England’s top-ranked batsman in fourth position, with captain Joe Root (ninth) and opener Rory Burns (17th) their next batsmen on the list. Dom Sibley (35th), Jos Buttler (44th) and Ollie Pope (46th) get a chance to build on recent progress in home conditions, as do fast bowlers Mark Wood, Sam Curran and Jofra Archer, ranked close to each other from 36th to 39th positions.

In the WTC points table, England moved up to third position after the series against the West Indies and could potentially leapfrog Australia to second place, while Pakistan have the chance of overtaking New Zealand to fourth position.

Apart from the 2-1 win over the West Indies, England drew a five-match series against Australia 2-2 and won a four-match series against South Africa 3-1. Pakistan lost both matches of a two-Test series to Australia, beat Sri Lanka 1-0 in a two-match series and won their first match against Bangladesh at home, with another Test due on a subsequent leg postponed due to Covid-19.

Each series of the WTC is worth 120 points, distributed evenly over the number of matches in a series. The points range from 60 for each match of a two-Test series to 24 for each match of a five-Test series.

More on the WTC is available here. An FAQs document on the ICC World Test Championship is available here.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings (as of 3 August 2020, before the England-Pakistan series):

Batsmen (top 10)

Rank   

Player 

Team  

Pts      

Avge  

Highest Rating

1

Steve Smith

Aus

911

62.84

947 v SA at Durban 2018

2

Virat Kohli

India

886

53.62

937 v Eng at Southampton 2018

3

M Labuschagne

Aus

827*!

63.43

827 v NZ at Sydney 2020

4

Ben Stokes

Eng

814

38.42

827 v WI at Old Trafford 2020

5

K Williamson

NZ

812

50.99

915 v Ban at Hamilton 2019

6

Babar Azam

Pak

800!

45.12

800 v Ban at Rawalpindi 2020

7

David Warner

Aus

793

48.94

880 v NZ at Perth 2015

8

C Pujara

India

766

48.66

888 v SL at Nagpur 2017

9

Joe Root

Eng

751

48.30

917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015

10

Ajinkya Rahane

India

726

42.88

825 v NZ at Indore 2016

 

Other selected rankings

Rank   

Player             

Team  

Pts     

Avge   

Highest Rating

17

Rory Burns

Eng

661*!

35.67

661 v WI at Old Trafford 2020

18=

Asad Shafiq

Pak

658

39.25

758 v Eng at Lord's 2016

27

Azhar Ali

Pak

604

42.58

787 v Aus at Melbourne 2016

33

Shan Masood

Pak

582*!

31.28

582 v Ban at Rawalpindi 2020

35

Dom Sibley

Eng

572*

42.00

575 v WI at Old Trafford 2020

44

Jos Buttler

Eng

548

31.63

635 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2018

45

Joe Denly

Eng

536*

29.53

578 v SA at Cape Town 2020

46

Ollie Pope

Eng

531*!

43.38

531 v WI at Old Trafford 2020

57

Haris Sohail

Pak

495*

37.22

563 v NZ at Dubai 2018

 

Bowlers (top 10)

Rank   

Player             

Team  

Pts     

Avge   

Highest Rating

1

Pat Cummins

Aus

904

21.82

914 v Eng at Old Trafford 2019

2

Neil Wagner

NZ

843

26.60

859 v Aus at Melbourne 2019

3

Stuart Broad

Eng

823

27.94

880 v SA at Johannesburg 2016

4

Tim Southee

NZ

812!

29.00

812 v India at Christchurch 2020

5

Jason Holder

WI

810

26.69

862 v Eng at Southampton 2020

6

Kagiso Rabada

SA

802

22.95

902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018

7

Mitchell Starc

Aus

797

26.97

807 v NZ at Perth 2019

8

Jasprit Bumrah

India

779*

20.33

834 v WI at Jamaica 2019

9

Trent Boult

NZ

770

27.65

825 v Eng at Lord's 2015

10

J Hazlewood

Aus

769

26.20

864 v India at Bengaluru 2017

 

Other selected rankings

Rank               

Player 

Team  

Pts     

Avge   

Highest Rating

11

J Anderson

Eng

761

26.85

903 v India at Lord's 2018

13

M Abbas

Pak

752*

20.76

838 v NZ at Abu Dhabi 2018

20

Chris Woakes

Eng

654!

29.40

654 v WI at Old Trafford 2020

23

Ben Stokes

Eng

602

31.73

606 v WI at St Lucia 2019

24

Yasir Shah

Pak

599

30.52

878 v Eng at Lord's 2016

36

Mark Wood

Eng

419*

32.36

439 v SA at Johannesburg 2020

38

Sam Curran

Eng

407*

31.82

411 v WI at Old Trafford 2020

39

Jofra Archer

Eng

384*

30.11

465 v Aus at The Oval 2019

 

All-rounders (top five)

Rank                

(+/-)

Player 

Team  

Pts     

Highest Rating

1

( - )

Ben Stokes

Eng

490

497 v WI at Old Trafford 2020

2

( - )

Jason Holder

WI

447

485 v Eng at Southampton 2020

3

( - )

R Jadeja

India

397

438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017

4

( - )

Mitchell Starc

Aus

298

346 v India at Pune 2017

5

( - )

R Ashwin

India

281

492 v Eng at Mohali 2016

 

*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.
!indicates career-highest rating
 
For more information on player rankings, please click here.

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