Khawaja takes giant leap in ICC Test rankings

Dubai: Australia’s Usman Khawaja has continued to make great strides in the latest ICC rankings for Test batsman, which were released on Tuesday morning following the conclusion of the Wellington Test.

Khawaja scored 140, his fourth century in six innings, which has lifted him ten places to a career-high 27th position. The left-hander is still in the qualification period for batsmen and he is expected to move further up the ladder, depending on how he performs in the second Test, which starts in Christchurch on Saturday.

A batsman qualifies for full points when he has played 40 Test innings, and the 29 year old has scored 1,879 runs in 23 innings in 14 Tests. Khawaja had started his season in 65th position and has already gained 38 places.

Adam Voges, who won the player of the match award in Wellington for his 239, has moved up one place to ninth and now has eighth-ranked Angelo Mathews of Sri Lanka firmly within his sights. The right-hander, too, is in the qualification period as he has played 19 innings in which he has scored 1,267 runs at an average of just under 98.

The list is headed by Australia captain Steven Smith, while Joe Root claimed sole possession of second spot after Kane Williamson slipped to third, 18 points behind the Englishman and 11 points ahead of South Africa’s Hashim Amla.

In the rankings for Test bowlers, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon and Mark Craig have moved up one place each to seventh, 13th and 38th respectively, while Mitchell Marsh has gained two spots and is now in 47th position.

Stuart Broad is the No. 1-ranked bowler, leading India’s Ravichandran Ashwin by just one point. Yasir Shah of Pakistan and Dale Steyn of South Africa are third and fourth respectively.

Meanwhile, Australia needs to draw the Christchurch Test to finish as the No.1-ranked Test side at the 1 Aprilannual cut-off date. If Australia achieves this result, then it will also reclaim the Test mace as well as cash award of 1million dollars.

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