Labuschagn­e, Starc break into top-five in rankings

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Perth, Aus­tralia - Mar­nus Labuschagn­e and Mitchell Starc have achieved their ca­reer-best ICC Test rankings, break­ing into the top-five of the bat­ting and bowl­ing charts re­spec­tively.

For Labuschagn­e, the rise has been me­te­oric. He is just 12 Tests old, and had an un­re­mark­able run in the first five of those, be­tween Oc­to­ber 2018 and Fe­bru­ary 2019. But af­ter walk­ing out as Steven Smith's con­cus­sion sub­sti­tute at Lord's dur­ing the Ashes Test in Au­gust this year, he has been spec­tac­u­lar, tal­ly­ing 893 runs in 11 in­nings and av­er­ag­ing 81.18 - he has cen­turies (185, 162 and 143) in each of his last three Tests too.

His per­for­mance - 143 and 50 - in Aus­tralia's first Test against New Zealand in Perth helped Labuschagn­e dis­place David Warner in fifth place. Starc, mean­while, had match fig­ures of nine for 96 in Perth, where Aus­tralia won by 296 runs.

Else­where, Babar Azam has en­tered the top-ten of the Test bat­ting rankings for the first time, mov­ing four spots up to No 9 af­ter his cen­tury in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi.

That made him the only one cur­rently apart from Vi­rat Kohli to be in the top-ten among bats­men across for­mats - he is No 1 in T20Is and No 3 in ODIs.

The bowlers' ta­ble, which has quicks oc­cu­py­ing all the top ten spots, saw Tim Southee climb three places to tenth spot af­ter a nine-wicket haul in Perth, while Neil Wag­ner and Josh Ha­zle­wood moved up a spot apiece to No 3 and No 7 re­spec­tively.

Among other bats­men to make ma­jor strides, Ross Tay­lor moved up five places to the 11th po­si­tion af­ter scor­ing 80 and 22 in Perth, while Dhanan­jaya de Silva moved eight places up to 35th af­ter mak­ing an un­beaten 102 in Rawalpindi.

Kohli and Smith held on to their No 1 and No 2 po­si­tions re­spec­tively in the bat­ting rankings, which is dom­i­nated by In­dia and Aus­tralia tak­ing up six spots, while Pat Cum­mins re­mained top of the bowlers' list.

Mar­nus Labuschagn­e

Mitchell Starc

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