England’s vice-captain, Joe Root, breaks into the top 5 for the first time as he sits at the 4th position, while Australia’s Steven Smith slips to second position in the latest ICC Rankings for test batsman released on Sunday. Root jumped three places after the match-winning performance of 134 and 60 in the first ashes test, overtaking Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews and Pakistan’s Younis Khan. The South African captain, Hashim Amla is within his reach as Root is just 7 points behind him. Smith’s 66 runs from the test saw him losing 12 points to move down to second position, seven behind AB De Villiers, though some strong performances in the coming tests would see him again climb to the top as De Villiers will miss the test series against Bangladesh.
Other batsman to head up in the list are Chris Rogers in the 21st position who moved up by two places, Gary Balance who moved up two places to reach 31st, Ben Stokes at 37th going up by seven places and Moeen Ali in 65th position going up by 19 places.
In the ICC rankings for test bowlers, Stuart Broad rose up by 1 place to reach career high 5th position following his 5 wickets in the match. Michell Starc’s figures of 5 for 114 and 2 for 60 saw him go up to the 17th position. Josh Hazlewood followed Starc’s footsteps to reach 21st position, behind Pakistan’s Junaid Khan. South Africa’s Dale Steyn sits at the top followed by England’s James Anderson at the second and New Zealand’s Trent Boult at third. Moeen Ali’s contribution with the ball was equally important and his 5 wickets brought him to the career-best of 28th spot.
Importance of Moeen’s performance in the first test is supported by the fact that he has reached his career best in the rankings for batsman, bowlers and also for all-rounders, where he entered in the top 10 reaching the 9th spot, jumping 9 places. Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan remains as the number-one ranked all-rounder.