Kane Williamson has become the first New Zealand batsman to breach 900 ratings points on the ICC’s Test Rankings for batters after his side’s stunning 2-1 series victory over Pakistan.
The New Zealand captain has moved up to No 2 spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings for batsmen, and now sits behind arguably the greatest active Test batter – India’s Virat Kohli.
Cheteshwar Pujara was another big mover, as he broke into the top five of the batter’s rankings following his match-turning innings’ of 123 and 71 in the first Test in Adelaide. Pujara’s pair of stoic innings moved him past Joe Root and David Warner to occupy spot No 4 in the rankings.
Williamson’s move was the result of his own match-winning innings of 89 and 139 in Abu Dhabi that put New Zealand on course for a historic Test series win against Pakistan. It propelled him to a career-high total of 913 ratings points, just seven behind India skipper Virat Kohli.
In doing so, Williamson became only the first batter from his country to get past 900 ratings points.
Apart from Pujara, other Indians made waves in the latest rankings. Ajinkya Rahane rose two spots to the 17th position after his knock of 70 in India’s second innings, and knocks of 25 and 28 helped Rishabh Pant jump seven places to No 59.
India’s inconsistent openers (KL Rahul and M Vijay), along with middle-order batter Rohit Sharma all lost ground in the rankings, as Rahul slipped two positions down to 26th spot, while Vijay dropped three places to 45th place. Big-hitting Rohit slipped to 53rd in the rankings.
For Pakistan, valiant centurions Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq made gains. Ali rose two places to No 10 and Shafiq climbed one spot to No 21. Babar Azam, who made a fighting 51 in Pakistan’s second innings, also rose three places to No 35.
However, all of Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez and Imam-ul-Haq suffered failures and it reflected in the rankings update. Hafeez – the Abu Dhabi Test was his last – slipped seven spots to No 65, while skipper Ahmed and opener Imam lost one place each to reach No 32 and No 97 respectively.
Australia, meanwhile, had mixed results. Usman Khawaja slipped three spots to 13th, and Aaron Finch dropped to No 89. Shaun Marsh rose six places to 38th, Tim Paine four spots to No 55 and Travis Head a massive 17 places to No 80.
Nathan Lyon was rewarded for his unbeaten knocks of 24 and 38 with a 17-place leap to No 130.
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