Marnus Labuschagne has continued his surge up the ICC Test Player Rankings, entering the top five in the list for batsmen after scores of 143 and 50 in the Perth Test, which his side won by 296 runs against New Zealand.
Labuschagne, who narrowly missed joining Pakistan’s Zaheer Abbas and Mudassar Nazar in scoring at least 150 in three successive Test innings, has gained three slots to occupy fifth place. He has overtaken compatriot David Warner and is the second-highest ranked Australia batsman after Steve Smith.
Babar Azam has reached the top 10 for the first time, moving from 13th to ninth position after his unbeaten knock of 102. He is currently No.1 in the T20I rankings and has enjoyed a best ranking of second in the ODIs.
Opener Abid Ali’s 109*, which made him the first male cricketer and only the second after former England woman opener Enid Bakewell to score centuries on both Test and ODI debuts, has entered the rankings at an impressive 78th position.
Left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi (up two places to 47th) and Naseem Shah (up 15 places to 110th) have also gained in the latest update.
Australia bowlers to advance include pacemen Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. Starc’s ‘player of the match’ effort of 9/97 in the first Test has lifted him to a career-best fifth spot and career-best 806 rating points. Starc was also fifth in March 2018 while his previous best points aggregate was 805 in December 2016. Hazlewood has moved from eighth to seventh position.