Williamson becomes first New Zealand batsman to breach 900 ratings points


DUBAI: New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson moved up one spot to the No.2 in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings for batsmen and is now only behind India’s Virat Kohli, reported ICC. 

The other big mover was Cheteshwar Pujara, who broke into the top five on the batsmen’s rankings after his match-turning scores of 123 and 71 in Adelaide. In doing so, he moved past Joe Root and David Warner and currently sits pretty at No.4.

Williamson scored 89 and 139 in Abu Dhabi to put New Zealand on course for a historic Test series win against Pakistan. It propelled him to a career-high total of 913 rating points, just seven behind India skipper Virat Kohli. Williamson is now the first from his country to get past 900 rating points.

Henry Nicholls, who also scored a century in the same innings, jumped eight places to break into the top 10 at No.9, while BJ Watling moved up four places to No.22.

Apart from Pujara, other Indians made waves in the latest rankings. Ajinkya Rahane rose two spots to the 17th position after his knock of 70 in India’s second innings and knocks of 25 and 28 helped Rishabh Pant jump seven places to No.59.

However, India’s openers, KL Rahul and M Vijay, and middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma, all lost footing. Rahul slipped two positions to No. 26, Vijay three to No.45 and Rohit dropped four places to No.53.

For Pakistan, valiant centurions Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq made gains. Ali rose two places to No.10 and Shafiq climbed one spot to No.21. Babar Azam, who made a fighting 51 in Pakistan’s second innings, also rose three places to No.35.

However, all of Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez and Imam-ul-Haq suffered failures and it reflected in the rankings update. Hafeez – the Abu Dhabi Test was his last – slipped seven spots to No.65, while skipper Ahmed and opener Imam lost one place each to reach No.32 and No.97 respectively.

Australia, meanwhile, had mixed results. Usman Khawaja slipped three spots to 13th, and Aaron Finch dropped to No.89. Shaun Marsh rose six places to 38th, Tim Paine four spots to No.55 and Travis Head a massive 17 places to No.80.

Nathan Lyon was rewarded for his unbeaten knocks of 24 and 38 with a 17-place leap to no.130.