England batter Joe Root is back at the top of the ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings after smashing a second successive century in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship series against New Zealand. Root, who had reached within striking distance of Marnus Labuschagne after the first Test, has wrested back the top spot from the Australia batter, whom he now leads by five rating points. Root is on 897 points after his knock of 176 in the first innings of the Nottingham Test, 20 less than his highest of 917 points.
Root first grabbed number one position in August 2015 and was last at the top in December 2021 before Labuschagne leapfrogged him. Root has been No.1 in Tests for 163 days so far. Steve Smith (1,506 days), Virat Kohli (469 days) and Kane Williamson (245 days) are the others to have had substantial vigils at the top in recent years.
India’s Test captain Rohit Sharma, who will lead his side in the fifth Test of the series against England from July 1, is the best ranked from his country in 8th place with 754 points. Virat Kohli has slipped to 10th place with 742 and is worst-ranked among the ‘Fab 4’ of Root, Smith, Williamson and Kohli.
Root’s compatriots, Player of the Match Jonny Bairstow and captain Ben Stokes have also had major gains. Bairstow’s 92-ball 136 that led the last day chase for an eventual five-wicket win, has moved up 13 places to 39th position while Stokes’s 75 not out has taken him from 27th to 22nd position.
Ollie Pope (up 22 places to 53rd) and Alex Lees (up 26 places to 86th) have also moved up the rankings for batters while seam bowler Matthew Potts has advanced 18 places to 59th after picking up three wickets in the match.
For New Zealand, Daryl Mitchell’s scores of 190 and 62 not out have lifted him 33 places to a career-best 17th position while Tom Blundell’s first innings century has helped him move up four places to 31st position. Devon Conway’s innings of 46 and 52 see him inch up one slot to 23rd. Fast bowler Trent Boult is up four places to ninth.
ICC Test batting ranking:
1. Joe Root – 897
2. Marnus Labuschagne – 892
3. Steve Smith – 845
4. Babar Azam – 815
5. Kane Williamson – 798
6. Dimuth Karunaratne – 772
7. Usman Khawaja – 757
8. Rohit Sharma – 754
9. Travis Head – 744
10. Virat Kohli – 742