Younis, Warner rocket up batting rankings

Dubai’s Test century-makers have vaulted in the latest ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen following the conclusion of the first Test, which Pakistan won by 221 runs to end Australia’s hopes of moving top of the Test rankings.

Australia opener David Warner, who scored 133 in Australia’s first innings score of 303, moved up one place to a career-high fourth position. He has West Indies’ Shivnarine Chanderpaul firmly within his sights as only 12 ratings point separate the two left-handers.

Pakistan’s Younis Khan, who scored two centuries in the Test to become Pakistan’s most successful batsman in terms of centuries scored, gained four places and claimed to seventh position. With captain Misbah-ul-Haq slipping one place to 11th, Younis is now Pakistan’s highest-ranked batsman.

Pakistan wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed and opener Ahmed Shehzad, who scored 109 and 131 respectively, also made impressive gains.

Sarfraz, whose innings of 109 helped Pakistan score 454 after put in to bat, helped him rise 12 places to 38th, while Shehzad’s contribution of 131 in the second innings, which allowed the home side to declare on 286 for two to set Australia a victory target of 438, helped him rocket 14 places to 52nd.

In the rankings for Test Bowlers, Pakistan’s spin duo of Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah stormed up the charts. Zulfiqar, who returned match figures of seven for 155, jumped 46 places to claim 51st spot, while Yasir has entered in 62nd place following figures of three for 66 and four for 50 on debut.

Australia’s Mitchell Johnson was rewarded for his contribution of three wickets in the match and scores of 37 and 61. He moved ahead of England’s Stuart Broad in fourth position in the rankings for Test All-rounders.

Pakistan’s victory not only ensured that they will move ahead of India in fifth position irrespective of how the Abu Dhabi Test ends, it also dashed Australia hopes of regaining the number-one Test ranking.

To move ahead of South Africa, Australia needed to win both Tests. Now, their best series result can be a one-all draw, which will keep them in second position but three points behind South Africa.

In contrast, if Pakistan win the second Test, and oblige Paddy Power’s odds, then they will leapfrog England, Sri Lanka and India into third position. A one-all draw will mean they will finish in fifth place on 99 ratings points – three ahead of India and two behind fourth-ranked Sri Lanka – while a drawn Test in Abu Dhabi will see Pakistan move to fourth place.