Joe Root Topples Marnus Labuschagne As World No 1 Test Batter

Written by Mohan Sharma

Ravichandran Ashwin has maintained the top spot among bowlers, while England’s Joe Root toppled Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne to become the world’s top-ranked batter in the ICC Test rankings released on Wednesday. Ashwin, who was ignored for the World Test Championship final against Australia earlier this month in London, remained the world No 1 bowler with 860 points, followed by England’s James Anderson at second with 829 points. Among Indian bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah (772) and Ravindra Jadeja (765) occupied the eighth and the ninth spot respectively with no change in their rankings.

India’s batting mainstay Virat Kohli slipped down one spot to occupy the 14th place, while captain Rohit Sharma was placed at 12th place.

Cheteshwar Pujara remained at the 25th position whereas Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer — out of action for a while now — moved up one place each to get to the 36th and 37th spots respectively.

Wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant is the only Indian to feature in the top 10, taking the last spot, The big shake-up came at the top of batters’ rankings, as Root jumped moved five places to dethrone Labuschagne.

The change in rankings came a day after Australia pipped England by two wickets in a thrilling finish to win the Edgbaston Test and take a 1-0 lead in the ongoing Ashes.

While Root scored an unbeaten 118 in England’s first innings of 393 for eight declared — a decision debated heavily after their loss in the opening Ashes Test — Labuschagne failed to make a mark with the bat in both innings.

Root managed scores of 118 not out and 46 in a losing cause during the first Ashes Test in Birmingham and those superb individual efforts saw the 32-year-old rise a massive five places and regain his place as the No.1 ranked Test batter in the world.

Labuschagne dropped to third as a result of scores of 0 and 13 against England, with Kiwi veteran Kane Williamson jumping two places to second overall.

Fellow Australians Travis Head (down one place to fourth) and Steve Smith (drops four spots to sixth) also lose ground in the race to become the No.1 Test batter, with just 26 rating points now separating the top six players in what is one of the closest battles seen in recent times.

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Mohan Sharma