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Big names eye top spot as challengers make their move in Test batters' ranking

MRF Tyres ICC Rankings

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The challengers are lining up to usurp Marnus Labuschagne as the top ranked Test batter with a trio of superstars making ground on the Australian on the latest update to the MRF Tyres ICC Men's Player Rankings.

With Labuschagne suffering a rare failure and dismissed for just 14 during the Boxing Day Test against South Africa in Melbourne, it left the door open for a group of players to make their move on the right-hander.

While Labuschagne remains at the head of proceedings and with a healthy lead on his closest rivals, teammate Steve Smith, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and former New Zealand captain Kane Williamson all made ground on the 28-year-old.

Smith managed a stylish 85 in the same innings that Labuschagne and that saw the Australian veteran jump in front of Babar and up to second on the latest rankings for Test batters.

Babar falls to third following scores of 161 and 14 during the first Test against New Zealand in Karachi, but the Pakistan skipper rises to a career-high rating of 882 rating points and manages to close the gap on Labuschagne to just 43 points and is only one rating point behind Smith.

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Williamson is the other big winner on the latest rankings update released by the ICC on Wednesday, with the experienced right-hander jumping two places and back inside the top five at fifth following the fifth double century of his distinguished career in the first Test against Pakistan.

Teammates Daryl Mitchell and Devon Conway were also among the runs during that drawn Test match, with the former rising to a career best rating in 10th place and the latter improving 11 places to equal 24th overall.

Australia duo David Warner (up 17 places to 14th) and Alex Carey (up 19 to 28th) made eye-catching moves on the latest list for batters, while compatriot and inspirational Australia skipper Pat Cummins maintained his lead at the top of the charts for Test bowlers following the latest rankings update.

Cummins managed just one wicket during Australia's Boxing Day romp over the Proteas, but the right-armer still holds a lofty lead over his nearest challenger with a healthy 37-point lead over England veteran James Anderson.

South Africa quick Kagiso Rabada was expensive will returning figures of 2/144 during Australia's only innings at the MCG Test and that saw the pace spearhead lose three places and drop to sixth on the latest list for Test bowlers.

Fellow pacer Marco Jansen (up four places to 12th) continues to rise the all-rounders ranks, while Australian counterpart Cameron Green (up 12 places to 14th) also improves behind India veteran Ravindra Jadeja at the head of proceedings.

There was little change on the latest T20I rankings following the first match of the three-game series between India and Sri Lanka, with dynamic No.4 Suryakumar Yadav maintaining his place as the top ranked batter despite a rare failure in Mumbai.

Yadav was out for just seven as India clinched a narrow two-run triumph in the series opener, with Deepak Hooda (41*) and Ishan Kishan (37) the major contributors with the bat.

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Kishan was rewarded with a 10-spot jump to 23rd overall on the latest list for T20I batters, while Hooda re-enters the top 100 at 97th following his valuable late hitting.

Wanindu Hasaranga was once again a strong contributor against India with figures of 1/22 with the ball helping the right-armer move further clear as the top ranked T20I bowler.

Hasaranga also scored a quickfire 21 with the bat and that saw the 25-year-old jump two spots to fifth on the latest list for all-rounders.

 

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