TOP-RANKED STARS GEAR UP FOR ICC WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP 2023 FINAL -

TOP-RANKED STARS GEAR UP FOR ICC WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP 2023 FINAL

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England batters Pope and Duckett move up in weekly update carried out ahead of The Ultimate Test

Khel Today Bureau 

Dubai: The top-ranked players in all three lists of the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings are part of the squads for the ICC World Test Championship 2023 Final to be played at The Oval from today, lending additional interest to the much-anticipated clash. Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne goes into his 38th Test match as the top-ranked batter in the world and with a chance to consolidate his position with New Zealand’s Kane Williamson in second place and his own countryman Steve Smith in third position, 43 rating points behind Labuschagne’s aggregate of 915.

India captain Rohit Sharma is the top-ranked batter from his side, in 11th position, and with a chance of re-entering the top 10 by overtaking Rishabh Pant, who is out of action following a road accident. Virat Kohli, a formerly top-ranked Test batter, is not very far from the top 10 either, only two spots behind his skipper.

Ravichandran Ashwin leads the bowling rankings with 869 rating points, but Australia captain Pat Cummins is not far behind in third position with 841 rating points and capable of wresting back the top position, which he had held for three years till James Anderson dislodged him in February.

The top two spots in the all-rounders’ list are held by Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin while Australia’s Mitchell Starc is in eighth position.

Meanwhile, England batters Harry Brook (up one place to 18th), Ollie Pope (up 10 places to 23rd) and Ben Duckett (up eight places to 34th) have made substantial gains after the one-off Test against Ireland at Lord’s.

Brook had scores of 56 and 12 not out in the 10-wicket victory. Pope won the Player of the Match award for his first innings of 205 while Duckett reaped the dividends of his knock of 182.

Stuart Broad’s first innings’ five-for has lifted him back into the top 10 while Josh Tongue has entered the rankings at an impressive 82nd position after his five-wicket haul in the second innings.

For Ireland, Andy McBrine has moved into the top 100 after a fighting 86 not out in the second innings while Mark Adair has progressed 32 places to 105th position after a valiant 88 batting ninth in the order.

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