Azhar Ali and Devendra Bishoo have achieved career-high rankings in the latest MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings, which were released on Tuesday morning following Pakistan’s 56 runs victory in the day/night Test in Dubai.
Azhar, who won the player of the match award for his 302 not out, has climbed five places to a career-high 12th position, while Bishoo’s match figures of 10 for 174 have helped him gain 11 places to claim 30th position.
Azhar is the fourth Pakistan batsman after Hanif Mohammad, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Younis Khan to score a Test triple century. For this achievement, the opener, who played as a wrist spinner in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2002 in New Zealand, has earned 62 points, which, in turn, has also allowed him to move ahead of team-mate Asad Shafiq (16th, down by three places).
Azhar now has his captain Misbah-ul-Haq firmly within his sights, whom he trails by just one point, while Younis Khan remains his side’s highest-ranked batsman in fifth place (slipped one place after dropping one per cent of his points for missing the Dubai Test).
In contrast, by rising 11 places to 30th, Bishoo has opened up a significant lead over team-mate Shannon Gabriel (48th), who is the second highest-ranked West Indies bowler in the series, and captain Jason Holder (61st).
The 30-year-old looks strong to gain further points and edge closer to the top 20 as he is still in the qualification period. A bowler qualifies for a full rating after he has taken 100 wickets, while Bishoo has so far claimed 69 wickets in 19 Tests.
Stylish West Indies batsman Darren Bravo is the other player to make a big impact in the latest rankings.
The 27-year-old left-hander, who played in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2008 in Malaysia, scored 87 and 116 in the Test in which the West Indies went down fighting. Consequently, Bravo has returned to the top 20 where he has joined Pakistan’s Sarfraz Ahmed in 20th position after rising eight places.