Pakistan's Test openers Abdullah Shafique and Imamul Haq move up to 15th, and 13 spots, respectively in latest ICC Test batters rankings
Following some spectacular performances at the first Test of the home series against England, Pakistan openers Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq achieved their career-best positions in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Test rankings.
The ICC Wednesday issued its latest Test rankings in which Shafique has jumped five places to 15th, meanwhile, Imam has moved up 13 spots to secure 38th position on the batter’s list.
The duo hit tons in the first innings of the opening Test against England in Rawalpindi.
Meanwhile, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam also moved up one place to the third postion on the Test batters' rankings. Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne, who replaced Joe Root at the top, and Steve Smith are in first and second place, respectively.
“Root obtained the top ranking during a golden run with the bat over the most recent English summer, but a mixed performance in the recent first Test in Pakistan and a strong showing from Labuschagne against the West Indies has seen a major shake-up at the head of proceedings,” the ICC said in a press release.
It must be noted that Labuschagne notched up scores of 204 and 104* against the West Indies during the first Test in Perth.
Australia captain Pat Cummins still leads the latest Test bowler rankings, whereas India’s Ravindra Jadeja is at the top on the all-rounder’s table.
England took full advantage of winning the toss — and their batting depth — to win the first Test by 74 runs Monday on a dead Rawalpindi wicket that offered nothing to the bowlers.
Rawalpindi yielded 1,768 runs in four innings — the third most in Test history — with seven individual centuries and five 50s.
Fast bowler Hasan Ali will likely fill in for the injured Haris Rauf, himself a replacement for world-class pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is out of the series.
England will also make an injury change, with wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes likely coming in for Liam Livingstone, who is heading home for treatment on his knee.
The weather could also be a factor.
Provincial authorities have issued a fog alert for the next few days, which could eat into playing time.