• Labuschagne knocks Root off top spot

    Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne has replaced England captain Joe Root at the top of the ICC Test batting rankings.

    The 27-year-old’s maiden Ashes century in Adelaide helped Australia go 2-0 up in the five-match series against England ahead of the third Test in Melbourne starting on Sunday.

    Root, who returned to the No 1 position in August, has amassed 1,630 runs at an average of 62.69 so far in 2021 and a further 159 in Melbourne would set a new record for a Test batsman in a calendar year.

    Labuschagne, the ninth Australian man to cross the 900-point mark in the ICC’s Test batting rankings, is ahead of Root, with Australia’s Steve Smith third, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson fourth and India’s Rohit Sharma fifth in the latest standings.

    The highest-ranked South African is Quinton de Kock (11th).

    Full rankings

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    Simon Borchardt