Pakistan spinner Yasir becomes top ranked Test bowler
Dubai, July 18 (IANS) Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah has become the top ranked Test bowler after he starred in the 75-run victory over England in the first Test at Lord's.
Yasir is the first Pakistan bowler to top the rankings since present coach Mushtaq Ahmed achieved the distinction in December 1996. Australian legend Shane Warne was the last wrist spinner to surge to the number one position in December 2005.
"Yasir, who returned figures of six for 72 and four for 69, has leapfrogged Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, and England's fast bowling pair of James Anderson (who missed the Test due to an injury) and Stuart Broad into the top spot after his performance earned him 32 points," the International Cricket Council said in a release on Monday.
Yasir also won the player of the match award on Sunday and now leads Ashwin by seven points and Anderson by 10 points.
The 30-year-old could gain even more points and increase the gap between him and the rest of the pack as he is still in the qualification period. A bowler qualifies for a full rating after he has taken 100 wickets, while Yasir has so far claimed 86 scalps in 13 Tests.
England all-rounder Chris Woakes has also made an impressive gain in the latest player rankings for Test bowlers. Woakes recorded match figures of 11/102 for which he has earned a jump of 28 places that has put him in a career-high 36th position.
Pakistan pacer Rahat Ali, who took four wickets in the match, has also achieved a career-high ranking of 32nd after jumping three places, while Mohammad Amir has returned to the rankings just inside the top 100 in 93rd position.
There was more good news for Pakistan as their middle order batsman Asad Shafiq also achieved a career-high ranking in the rankings for Test batsmen.
Asad scored 73 and 49 for which he has been rewarded with a jump of two places that has put him in 11th spot.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who scored his 10th Test century while scoring 114 in the first innings, has moved up one place to ninth, and wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed has gained two places and is now in 17th position.
For England, Jonny Bairstow and Gary Balance have improved their rankings. Bairstow is now on a career-high 16th position after moving up two places, while Balance is in 40th position having risen two places.
The second Test begins at Old Trafford on Friday.