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Labuschagne, Shaheen Afridi make big rankings push in Test cricket

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Dubai, Dec 15 (IANS) Australian cricketer Marnus Labuschagne is the new No.2-ranked Test batter in the world in the ICC Player Rankings, overtaking his senior team-mate Steve Smith and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, while Travis Head’s century in the first Ashes Test also sees him making massive gains.

Tall Pakistan bowler Shaheen Afridi continues to rise in rankings, with the paceman making yet another jump in the men’s Test bowling rankings after a fine Mirpur performance against Bangladesh

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Afridi finished with 1/3 and 2/31 in the match, and rose two spots to third, leapfrogging Australian quick Josh Hazlewood and Black Caps pacer Tim Southee. Afridi’s compatriot Hasan Ali also made a late climb into the top-10. New Australian skipper Pat Cummins kept his No.1 bowling ranking after a seven-wicket performance against England at The Gabba in Brisbane.

Below the top-10, bowlers across the two Test matches made significant leaps, most notably Sajid Khan who moved up 52 places. England pacer Ollie Robinson’s four wickets earned him a four-place jump.

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Labuschagne made a move after the first Ashes Test, climbing to No. 2 from the fourth spot. The performance meant the right-hander overtook Smith and Williamson who dropped down a place each.

Head’s century saw him take a leap of 16 spots to jump into the top-10. He is currently tied on the 10th spot alongside South African Quinton de Kock.

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The men’s T20I batting rankings also witnessed some big changes with Pakistan skipper Babar Azam being dethroned from the top spot. Azam has struggled for runs in the first two T20Is against West Indies, scoring a duck and seven in the first two matches of the series. He has dropped to the third spot with England’s Dawid Malan and South Africa’s Aiden Markram overtaking him.

In the bowling charts, Shadab Khan has taken huge strides, jumping five spots to break into the top-10. He is currently ranked ninth in the world after performances of 3/17 and 0/22 in the two matches against the West Indies in Karachi.

–IANS

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