Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Australian batter Travis Head are closing in on the top spots in the ICC rankings of Test batters as they make rapid improvements in separate red ball series.
Head is now second with 874 points after jumping two spots. He is short of only nine points as compared to New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, who ranks first with 883 in the Test batter rankings, the latest update issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday said.
Meanwhile, Babar is also not far behind, as he jumped three spots to the third position in the list, with 862 points.
“Australia star Travis Head is the newest challenger to the No.1 Test batter ranking after the in-form left-hander rose to a career-high second place on the latest ICC Men’s Test Batting Rankings,” the ICC said in a press release.
“Head jumps two places and up to second behind New Zealand veteran Kane Williamson on the back of his tremendous Ashes series against England that has already netted the 29-year-old a total of 266 runs at an average of 44.33.
“In the most recent Test of that series in Headingley, Head contributed scores of 39 and 77 and was a major reason why the visitors went close to recording a third consecutive Ashes victory.
“Head’s rise up the batter charts has seen yet another re-shuffle at the top of the batting rankings, with Pakistan captain Babar Azam jumping three places to third and fellow Australians Steve Smith (fourth) and Marnus Labuschagne (fifth) and England’s Joe Root (sixth) all dropping one spot in what is an enthralling race for top billing.”
Head will look to clinch the top spot during the remaining two matches of the ongoing Ashes cricket series.
Meanwhile, Azam will look to do the same during the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka this month.
“Pakistan captain Babar Azam jumping three places to third and fellow Australians Steve Smith (fourth) and Marnus Labuschagne (fifth) and England’s Joe Root (sixth) all dropping one spot in what is an enthralling race for top billing,” the ICC stated.