Ashes - Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne has starred with the bat for Australia Image Credit: AFP

Australia’s hero in the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval, Marnus Labuschagne, and Pakistan captain Babar Azam have risen to the top of the ICC Rankings for batters in Tests and T20s respectively.

Middle-order batter Labuschagne has climbed to the top of the ICC Test Player Rankings for batters for the very first time after sensational performances in the two matches of the Ashes so far.

With career-best 912 rating points, he has gone past England captain Joe Root (897), who drops to the second spot.

Ranked fourth before the series, Labuschagne rose two spots to No. 2 after scoring 74 in Australia’s win in the Brisbane Test. In the second Test at Adelaide, he scored a hundred and fifty (103 and 51) as Australia thrashed England by 275 runs to go 2-0 up in the Ashes.

His teammate Mitchell Starc broke into the top 10 for Test bowlers after returning figures of 6/80 in the second Test, which included a four-for in the first innings that helped reduce England to 236. He moves up to the ninth spot.

Starc was also quite handy with the bat in both the innings, scoring an unbeaten 39 and 19, which sees him climb a spot in the Test all-rounders’ ranking to No. 6.

For England, captain Root attained his career-best rating in the rankings for all-rounders, rising two spots to No. 10 after scoring 86 runs and picking three wickets in the second Test.

In the Player Rankings for T20s, Pakistan skipper Babar reclaimed the top spot in the list for batters after just one week of losing it.

With scores of 0 and 7 in the first two T20s against the West Indies, Babar dropped two spots to No. 3 in last week’s update. He came roaring back and is now tied at the top of the rankings with England’s Dawid Malan after a brilliant 79 in the final T20 that helped Pakistan complete a clean sweep over West Indies.

His fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan, who has had a tremendous 2021, capped the year by climbing to No. 3 in T20 batters’ rankings with career-best ratings of 798. Rizwan was the Player of the Match in the final T20 against West Indies, helping his side chase 208 in less than 19 overs with a 45-ball 87.