Cook vaults into the Top 10

A magnificent unbeaten double-century by Alistair Cook has helped him to finish the year inside the top 10 of the latest MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, which were released today following the conclusion of the Melbourne and Port Elizabeth Tests.

The 33-year-old left-handed opener scored 244 in his side’s first innings score of 491, which has helped him to rise nine places to eighth position. He will now start 2018 with South Africa’s seventh-ranked Hashim Amla firmly within his sights, who is 17 points ahead of the former England captain.

Cook had begun the year in 15th position, while he had entered the Ashes in 10th position.

Meanwhile, Steve Smith’s contributions of 76 and 102 not out have not only strengthened his position at the top of the table but also given him sole possession of second place for the highest-ever ranking points.

For his efforts in Melbourne, Smith earned two points and is now 14 points behind Don Bradman (961) and two points ahead of Len Hutton (945) in the all-time list.

England captain Joe Root is the other batsman to improve his ranking, when he moved up one place to join his opposite number from New Zealand, Kane Williamson, in fourth place. Root and Williamson had started 2017 in third and fourth positions, respectively.

Australia opener David Warner is sixth, 24 points behind Root and Williamson, after his scores of 103 and 86 earned him 30 points. Warner had started 2017 in fifth position.

icc 31In the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, there is no change in the top nine with England’s James Anderson leading the field. Anderson had started the year on 810 points in sixth position and has finished on 892 points in number-one spot.

The spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Rangana Herath had started 2017 in the top three positions, and have finished at third, fourth and sixth places, respectively, while Australia’s Josh Hazlewood started and finished in fifth spot.

The only change in the top 10 is the return of South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel in 10th position. The 33-year-old claimed five for 21 in Zimbabwe’s first innings for which he has been rewarded with a rise of three places, which has now put him one place ahead of Dale Steyn. It is for the first time in nearly two years that Morkel is within the top 10.

Morkel’s team-mate Keshav Maharaj, who took five for 59 in Zimbabwe’s second innings, has gained two places and is now at a career-high 16th position.

Outside the top 20, Chris Woakes of England and Australia’s Pat Cummins have moved up three places each. Woakes is now in 28th place, while Cummins is now ranked 36th.

Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh is the number-one ranked all-rounder and he is followed by India’s Ravichandran Ashwin.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 31 December, following the Melbourne and Elizabeth Tests):

BATSMEN (top 20)

Rank      (+/-)         Player                    Team     Points    Avge      Highest Rating

   1          ( - )          Steve Smith          Aus         947!       63.55     947 v Eng at Melbourne 2017

   2          ( - )          Virat Kohli             Ind          893         53.75     895 v Ban at Hyderabad 2017

   3          ( - )          C. Pujara               Ind          873         52.96     888 v SL at Nagpur 2017

   4=        ( - )          Kane Williamson NZ           855         50.62     893 v Aus at Perth 2015

               (+1)         Joe Root                Eng         855         52.45     917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015

   6          ( - )          David Warner       Aus         831         48.72     880 v NZ at Perth 2015

   7          ( - )          Hashim Amla       SA           776         49.61     907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013

   8          (+9)         Alastair Cook        Eng         759         46.52     874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012

   9          (-1)          Azhar Ali                Pak         755         46.62     787 v Aus at Melbourne 2016

  10         (-1)          D. Chandimal       SL           743!       43.94     743 v Ind at Delhi 2017

  11         (-1)          Ross Taylor          NZ           739         48.04     871 v Win at Hamilton 2013

  12         ( - )          Lokesh Rahul       Ind          728*      44.62     761 v SL at Pallekele 2017

  13         (-2)          Dean Elgar            SA           722         42.12     740 v NZ at Dunedin 2017

  14         ( - )          Faf du Plessis       SA           711         46.54     718 v Ban at Bloemfontein 2017

  15         (-2)          Quinton de Kock  SA           708         43.83     802 v NZ at Hamilton 2017

  16         (-1)          Jonny Bairstow     Eng         707         39.57     772 v SA at Old Trafford 2017

  17         (-1)          Kraigg Brathwaite Win         690         37.43     701 v Eng at Headingley 2017

  18         (RE)        AB de Villiers        SA           689         50.47     935 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2014

  19         (-1)          Ajinkya Rahane    Ind          662         44.15     825 v NZ at Indore 2016

  20=       ( - )          Tamim Iqbal         Ban         655         39.25     709 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

               ( - )          Shakib Al Hasan  Ban         655         40.38     694 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

SELECT RANKINGS

Rank      (+/-)         Player                    Team     Points    Avge      Highest Rating

  27         (-8)          Usman Khawaja  Aus         630         42.95     747 v Pak at Sydney 2017

  31         (-4)          Shaun Marsh        Aus         612         38.36     626 v Eng at Adelaide 2017

  38         (-2)          Moeen Ali              Eng         578         33.20     655 v SA at Old Trafford 2017

  40         (-1)          Temba Bavuma   SA           571         33.13     589 v Ban at Potchefstroom 2017

  45         ( - )          Brendan Taylor    Zim         534*      32.53     684 v Ban at Mirpur 2014

  47         (-4)          H. Masakadza      Zim         531         29.77     559 v Win at Bulawayo 2017

  49         (-3)          Sikandar Raza      Zim         510*      38.10     547 v Win at Bulawayo 2017

  51         (-2)          Craig Ervine          Zim         505*      33.60     536 v SL at Colombo (RPS) 2017

  54         (+4)         Aiden Markram    SA           492*!     95.00     492 v Zim at Port Elizabeth 2017

  56         (-4)          Dawid Malan        Eng         488*      33.66     501 v Aus at Perth 2017

  65         ( - )          Mitchell Marsh      Aus         440*!     27.06     440 v Eng at Melbourne 2017

  69         (-3)          Vernon Philander SA           423         25.44     457 v Eng at Trent Bridge 2017

BOWLERS (top 20)

 

Rank      (+/-)         Player                    Team     Points    Avge      Highest Rating

   1          ( - )          James Anderson Eng         892         27.35     896 v Win at Lord's 2017

   2          ( - )          Kagiso Rabada    SA           883!       22.29     883 v Zim at Port Elizabeth 2017

   3          ( - )          Ravindra Jadeja   Ind          870         23.73     899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017

   4          ( - )          R.Ashwin               Ind          829         25.44     904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016

   5          ( - )          Josh Hazlewood  Aus         819         25.60     863 v Ind at Bengaluru 2017

   6          ( - )          Rangana Herath  SL           799         28.04     867 v Zim at Harare 2016

   7          ( - )          Neil Wagner          NZ           784         27.87     785 v Win at Wellington 2017

   8          ( - )          Mitchell Starc        Aus         774         27.52     805 v Pak at Brisbane 2016

   9          ( - )          Nathan Lyon         Aus         771         31.60     774 v Eng at Adelaide 2017

  10         (+3)         Morne Morkel       SA           753         28.45     776 v Aus at Cape Town 2011

  11         (-1)          Dale Steyn            SA           741         22.30     909 v Win at Centurion 2014

  12         (-1)          Vernon Philander SA           739         22.37     912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013

  13         (-1)          Trent Boult            NZ           725         28.56     825 v Eng at Lord's 2015

  14         (+1)         Stuart Broad         Eng         711         29.10     880 v SA at Johannesburg 2016

  15         (-1)          Yasir Shah            Pak         704         29.44     878 v Eng at Lord's 2016

  16         (+2)         Keshav Maharaj   SA           695*!     25.03     695 v Zim at Port Elizabeth 2017

  17         (-1)          Tim Southee         NZ           682         31.45     799 v Win at Jamaica 2014

  18         (-1)          Shakib Al Hasan  Ban         668         32.35     705 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

  19         ( - )          M.Shami                Ind          630*      30.77     647 v SL at Kolkata 2017

  20         ( - )          Kemar Roach       Win         612         29.42     774 v SA at Centurion 2014

SELECTED RANKINGS

Rank      (+/-)         Player                    Team     Points    Avge      Highest Rating

  28         (+3)         Chris Woakes       Eng         536*      33.75     609 v Pak at The Oval 2016

  29         (-2)          Moeen Ali              Eng         535         39.55     633 v Win at Edgbaston 2017

  36         (+3)         Pat Cummins       Aus         447*!     27.25     447 v Eng at Melbourne 2017

  38         (-2)          Steven Finn          Eng         438         30.40     624 v NZ at Headingley 2013

  46         (+1)         Graeme Cremer  Zim         366*      45.68     377 v Win at Bulawayo 2017

  48         (-1)          Duanne Olivier     SA           349*      23.11     353 v Ban at Bloemfontein 2017

  53         (-8)          Jackson Bird         Aus         337*      30.64     417 v Pak at Melbourne 2016

  66         (-1)          Mitchell Marsh      Aus         245*      40.89     349 v Win at Melbourne 2015

ALL-ROUNDERS (top five)

Rank      (+/-)         Player                    Team     Points    Highest Rating

   1          ( - )          Shakib Al Hasan  Ban         438        489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

   2          ( - )          Ravindra Jadeja   Ind          415        438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017

   3          (+1)         R. Ashwin              Ind          369        493 v Eng at Mohali 2016

   4          (-1)          Ben Stokes           Eng         366 /*    396 v Win at Lord's 2017

   5          (+1)         Vernon Philander SA           313        376 v Aus at Cape Town 2014

*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.

! indicates career-highest rating