Babar overtakes Smith, closes in on No.1 ranking in all formats

The Pakistan captain is one step closer to becoming the top-ranked batter in all three formats after jumping Australia's Steve Smith into the top three Test rankings

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has soared to his career-best Test ranking, overtaking Australia's Steve Smith to reach the top three in all three formats.

Babar, who is the top-ranked batter in T20 and one-day internationals, scored 119 and 55 in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle last week, which earned him enough rating points to pass Smith on 848.

The 27-year-old is now just 11 points behind Marnus Labuschagne (885) in second, with former England captain Joe Root (923) still out in front following his dominant performances against New Zealand and India during the English summer.

"As a player it's a dream to become the No.1 in all formats and, for that, you have to focus and put in hard work," Babar said last month during a press conference prior to the Pakistan and West Indies ODI series.

"If you are to become No.1 in all three, you have to keep yourself fit and on track. There is back-to-back cricket and the gap is less. For that, you need to be extra fit."

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Australian skipper Pat Cummins remains the top-ranked Test bowler with 891 points, with Pakistan pace ace Shaheen Afridi gaining one spot after his four first innings wickets against Sri Lanka to move into the top three.

Left-arm spinner Prabath Jayasuriya, who started his Test career with a 12-wicket haul against Australia in the second Test, has moved up 11 places to 44th position with 481 rating points – the fourth highest by any bowler after two Tests.

His 21 wickets also rank him joint-third as the most prolific bowler after two Tests, behind Indian leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani (24) and England seamer Alec Bedser (22) and level with Australian quick Bob Massie.

Another big mover was opener Abdullah Shafique, whose epic 160 not out in the first Test last week saw Pakistan reel in a massive fourth innings target of 342 on the final day.

Only two batters have ever had more rating points than Abdullah's 720 after six Tests – Sunil Gavaskar (692) and Don Bradman (687).

Abdullah also made scores of 136no, 96 and 81 against Australia in March to finish the three-Test series as Pakistan's leading run-scorer with 397 at 79.40.

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Australian opener Usman Khawaja, who was the top run-scorer in that series with Pakistan with 496 at 165.33, moved up one spot in the batting rankings to No.7 above Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne.

His predecessor Dinesh Chandimal, who has also enjoyed success against Australia recently, moved up 11 slots to reach 18th position in the Test batter rankings after scores of 76 and 94 not out in his side's loss to Pakistan.

Men's Test batting rankings

Joe Root (England) – 923 points

Marnus Labuschagne (Australia) – 885

Babar Azam (Pakistan) – 874

Steve Smith (Australia) – 848

Rishabh Pant (India) – 801

Kane Williamson (New Zealand) – 786

Usman Khawaja (Australia) – 766

Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka) – 746

Rohit Sharma (India) – 746

Jonny Bairstow (England) – 742

Men's ODI batting rankings

Babar Azam (Pakistan) – 892

Imam-ul-Haq (Pakistan) – 815

Rassie van der Dussen (South Africa) – 789

Quinton de Kock (South Africa) – 784

Virat Kohli (India) – 774

Rohit Sharma (India) – 770

Ross Taylor (New Zealand) – 752

David Warner (Australia) – 737

Jonny Bairstow (England) – 732

Aaron Finch (Australia) – 715

Men's T20I batting rankings

Babar Azam (Pakistan) – 818

Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan) – 794

Aiden Markram (South Africa) – 757

Dawid Malan (England) – 754

Suryakumar Yadav (India) – 732

Aaron Finch (Australia) – 716

Devon Conway (New Zealand) – 682

Nicholas Pooran (West Indies ) – 667

Pathum Nissanka (Sri Lanka) – 661

Rassie van der Dussen (South Africa) – 658