Pakistan captain Babar Azam, on Wednesday, became the only batter to feature in the top 3 of ICC Rankings across all formats of the game. Babar rose to No. 3 in the latest ICC Test Rankings, surpassing former Australia captain Steve Smith following his batting brilliance in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
Babar shined with the bat in Pakistan’s first innings, contributing 119 runs to a team score of 218 that ultimately helped the tourists keep in touch with Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 222. The Lahore-born also chipped in with a half-century as Pakistan completed a record chase of 343 to take a 1-0 lead in the 2-match series.
Babar, who is No. 1 in ODIs and T20Is, achieved his best-ever career rating points of 874 in the longest format. Though, former England skipper Joe Root is well ahead at the No. 1 spot with 923 rating points, while Australia’s batting sensation Marnus Labuschagne is at the 2nd spot with 885 points.
Babar’s teammate Abdullah Shafique advanced 23 spots to No. 16 after his brilliant 160 during Pakistan’s successful chase. Notably, Shafique had amassed 720 runs in his first six Tests and is currently on 671 rating points, which has been topped only by legends Sunil Gavaskar (692) and Don Bradman (687) after their first six appearances in the red-ball format.
Another major gainer amongst batters is Dinesh Chandimal, who has reached to 18th position after his scores of 76 and an unbeaten 94 in Sri Lanka’s defeat in the first Test at Galle.
Among bowlers, Shaheen Shah Afridi has climbed one spot to No. 3 on the back of his four-wicket haul in the first innings of the opening Test. Similarly, Sri Lanka’s Prabath Jayasuriya has acquired 44th position among Test bowlers, and his 481 rating points is also the fourth-highest in the history for bowlers after two Tests.