DUBAI: It wasn’t the best series for batsmen, chiefly the ones from England in the first Test at Lord’s and then for the visiting Pakistanis at Headingley, reported ICC.
In all 1526 runs were scored across the two Tests for the fall of 61 wickets, Pakistan winning the first Test by nine wickets and England paying them back in kind in the second Test, winning by an innings and 55 runs.
That was reflected in the latest MRF Tyres Test Player Rankings, where the biggest gainers among the batsmen were Jos Buttler and Shadab Khan, the England and Pakistan No.7s respectively, who were the only half-centurions in the Headingley Test.
Buttler, back in the England Test side after a gap of almost a year-and-a-half, was outstanding in the series, first scoring a battling 67 in the second innings at Lord’s and then hitting 80* in his team’s only innings in Leeds.
He has now moved up 19 spots in the rankings to No.63, though at 456 rating points, he is still some way off his career-best 494, achieved in 2015.
Dom Bess, the newcomer to the England side, was also impressive. His 57 and 126-run stand with Buttler in the second innings at Lord’s, which briefly gave his team hope of a turnaround, was supplemented with a 49 as a nightwatchman in the second Test, which took him up to No.92, a jump of 23 spots.
Pakistan’s abject batting performance at Headingley meant Azhar Ali dropped four spots to No.15 and Asad Shafiq moved down six spots to 31st. Gaining, meanwhile, were Khan, whose 56 in Leeds helped him go up to No.108, a gain of 22 spots, and Imam-ul-Haq, who scored a 34 in the second innings to get to joint 118 alongside Bangladesh’s Mosaddek Hossain.
Among the other Englishmen on the table still headed by Steve Smith (No.1 with 929 points), Virat Kohli (Mo.2 with 912) and Joe Root (No.3 with 855), Alastair Cook went up one spot to No.13 and Jonny Bairstow dropped a position to No.16.
On to the bowlers, and while James Anderson held on to his position up near the top behind Kagiso Rabada following returns of 3/43 and 2/35, Stuart Broad’s match haul of 6/66 helped him go up to the 12th spot, a jump of two places.
For Pakistan, Yasir Shah, who missed the series with an injury, remains the top-ranked bowler at No.18, with Mohammad Abbas (20th) and Mohammad Amir (32nd) not moving at all. Khan, however, moved up three spots to 93rd, while Faheem Ashraf, who dropped 38 places in the batting charts, went up 18 positions on the bowling table to joint 98th with Sri Lanka’s Malinda Pushpakumara.
In the team rankings, England lost one point and Pakistan gained one, but their positions at No.5 and No.7 respectively didn’t change.