Cook, Malik move up in Test Rankings


Dubai: England captain Alastair Cook has been rewarded for playing the longest innings for his country by earning a place in the top 10 of the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, which were released a day after the Abu Dhabi and Galle Tests.

Cook’s marathon 836 minutes of batting was the third longest in Tests, during which he scored 263 runs from 528 balls, as England was held to a draw after finishing at 74 for four while chasing 99 runs for victory.

Cook’s effort not only earned him the player of the match award but also gave him a jump of six places, which has put him inside the top 10 in eighth position. He now trails Pakistan’s sixth-ranked Younus Khan by 31 points, who celebrated the Abu Dhabi Test by becoming Pakistan’s leading run-getter.

The Test was also a memorable one for Shoaib Malik, who scored a double-century after missing 42 Tests for Pakistan. Shoaib has returned to the batting rankings just outside the top 50 in 53rd position.

Joe Root retained his fine form with the bat, which has helped him stay on course for reclaiming the number-one ranking. The Yorkshireman scored 85 and 33 not out, and, as a result, he has not only leapfrogged South Africa’s AB de Villiers into second position but has reduced the gap with top-ranked Steven Smith to just 13 points.

There were career-best rankings for Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne, who played leading roles in their side’s an innings and six runs victory over the West Indies in Galle.

Chandimal scored 151, which has given him a lift of six places for a career-best 22nd spot, while opener Karunaratne’s 186 has vaulted him 10 places to a career-high 28th position.

In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, England’s James Anderson has returned to the top three in third position after rising two places. The Lancastrian took four wickets in the match, which has allowed him to narrow the gap with team-mate Stuart Broad to just 12 points.

Adil Rashid shrugged off the disappointment of remaining wicket-less in the first innings by claiming five for 64 as he has entered the bowling chart in 96th position, while Shoaib Malik has returned in 93rd spot after claiming four wickets in the match.

Rangana Herath, who spun the West Indies out for 251 and 227 with figures of six for 68 and four for 79, has retained his ninth position but has earned 40 points. This means he now has Australia’s sixth-ranked Mitchell Johnson firmly within his sights as 17 points now separate the two bowlers.

Herath’s team-mate and fast bowler, Dhammika Prasad, meanwhile, has achieved a career-high ranking of 19th. Prasad took four wickets in the match, which has help him gain three places in the latest rankings.

Other bowlers to head in the right direction during the Abu Dhabi and Galle Test include, Ben Stokes 33rd (up by eight places), Wahab Riaz 44th (up by two places) and Nuwan Pradeep 55th (up by two places).

The bowlers’ list is headed by South Africa’s Dale Steyn.

There is no change in the top five all-rounders, however, Stokes has moved up four places to a career-high seventh position, while Angelo Mathews has slipped out of the top 10 in 11th spot.