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Root reclaims number one spot in Test rankings

Root reclaims number one spot in Test rankings
Joe Root has replaced Steven Smith as the number one batsman in ICC Test rankings.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England vice-captain Joe Root has reclaimed the pole position in the International Cricket Council (ICC) player rankings after scoring consecutive fifties in the recently concluded encounter against Pakistan in Dubai.

Prior to the second Test in Dubai, Root was placed at second in the table and his knocks of 88 and 71 have taken him past Australian captain Steve Smith.

Smith’s haul of 508 runs in the 2015 Ashes in England saw him climb to the top of the rankings but he did not have a chance to extend his lead due to the postponement of the Bangladesh tour.

Root is now currently perched at the top with 913 points to his name, while maintaining a three-point gap over Smith, who has 910 points.

In the ongoing Test series between England and Pakistan, Root is the second highest run scorer with 277 runs which includes three fifties.

The 24-year-old sits behind his skipper, Alastair Cook, who tops the charts in the series against Pakistan with 338 runs at an average of 112.66.

Smith will now have a chance to resume his rivalry with Root for the top spot in the rankings when Australia take on New Zealand in a three-match Test series starting on 5th November.

For Pakistan, Younis Khan has found his way back to the top five after scoring 174 runs, spread over the two innings in 178-run win against England.

After scoring 102 runs in the first innings of the second Test, Pakistan skipper, Misbah-ul-Haq backed it up with 87 runs in the second innings – thereby moving up to the 11th spot.

Meanwhile, Asad Shafiq has now achieved a career-best 12th position following his twin-fifties in the second Test.

Among the bowlers, Pakistan’s leg-spinner, Yasir Shah has propelled himself to the second spot in the ICC Rankings for Test bowlers after a match haul of eight wickets for 180 runs.

After missing the first Test in Abu Dhabi due to an injury, Shah made a return for the second Test in Dubai and picked four wickets in each innings against England.

With his performance, Shah has moved past James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Trent Boult to lay claim to the second spot.

With 827 points to his name, Shah is currently 78 points adrift from South Africa’s Dale Steyn, who is the leader of the pack.

For Sri Lanka, their pace bowler, Dhammika Prasad has now moved up to the 15th position, which is his career best ranking, after taking five wickets for 72 runs in the second Test against West Indies in Colombo.

In the ICC Test team rankings, the fourth placed Pakistan now have a chance to move up to the second spot if they defeat England in the third Test match in Sharjah.

For the third placed England, a win in the third Test will help them retain their pre-series position, while a defeat will push them down to the fifth spot.

The ICC rankings will see further movement with the Test series between India and South Africa set to get underway in November along with the Trans-Tasman Trophy between Australia and New Zealand.

© Cricket World 2015