Anderson becomes top-ranked Test bowler


England’s James Anderson has topped the ICC rankings for Test bowlers for the first time in his career after bowling his side to a nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test in Chester-le-Street.

Anderson took three for 36 and five for 58, and, in doing so, leapfrogged team-mate Stuart Broad and India’s Ravichandran Ashwin into the coveted number-one position. He leads Broad by 15 points and Ashwin by 13 points.

For his efforts that also fetched him the man of the match award, Anderson earned 30 points. In the two Tests against Sri Lanka, the 33-year-old Lancastrian collected 79 points and gained four spots in the rankings.

Anderson is the fourth England bowler to top the bowlers’ table since Ian Botham first achieved this feat in 1980. Steve Harmison stormed up the charts in 2004, while Broad vaulted to the number-one position earlier this year following the Johannesburg Test against South Africa.

Broad, who took five wickets in the Test, slipped behind Ashwin to third place after conceding three points.

Other bowlers to improve their rankings post the Chester-le-Street Test were Nuwan Pradeep (43rd, up by five places), Milinda Siriwardana (50th, up by 13 places) and Chris Woakes (73rd, up by 16 places).

In the batting table, England’s Moeen Ali achieved a career-best ranking. The left-handed batsman scored 155 not out, his career-best score in 25 Tests, which helped England to declare its first innings at 498 for nine.

For this achievement, Ali earned 82 points that lifted him 12 places to a career-high 35th position in the rankings for Test batsmen.

Opener Alex Hales has also continued to head in the right direction. After scoring 83 and 11, the 27-year-old batsman moved up nine places to 70th.  

In the past two Tests, Hales gained 47 places and looks strong to gain further spots as he is still in the qualification period. A batsman qualifies for a full rating after he has played 40 Test innings, while Hales has so far batted in only 11 Test innings.

Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal, who scored 126 in the second innings, moved up one place to 19th, while Nick Compton moved to in 67th spot after rising one place.

Alastair Cook, who became the first England batsman to complete 10,000 Test runs while scoring 47 not out in the second innings, retained his 15th position.

Australia captain Steve Smith is the number-one ranked Test batsman, followed by Joe Root of England and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson.

In the all-rounders’ list, Ali gained one place to sixth, just one point behind team-mate Ben Stokes. Ashwin is the number-one ranked all-rounder.

The Test player rankings will now be updated after the Lord’s Test.