Top billing confirmed for England star Joe Root

Marnus Labuschagne’s reign as the highest-ranked Test batsman in the world comes to an end as England right-hander Joe Root claimed the top spot in the latest ICC MRF Tires Men’s Test Batsman Rankings.

Labuschagne rose to the top after scoring 103 and 51 against England in Adelaide in December last year, but Root’s recent run sees the Australian at the head of the proceedings.

Root has already scored four centuries this calendar year and has become the second Englishman to score more than 10,000 Test runs and has taken the 31-year-old’s leap to the world’s No. 1 batsman ahead of Labuschagne.

The Englishman now has a total of 897 rating points, five points more than second-placed Labuschagne.

Labuschagne could get top billing when Australia take on Sri Lanka in a two-match World Test Championship series away from home later this month, but Root also has a busy Test run.

Root is currently in the middle of a three-match Test series against New Zealand, with England also hosting India for a three-match one-off Test and South Africa in the coming months.

Australia’s Steve Smith remains at the third spot in the latest Test rankings, with Pakistan captain Babar Azam and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson in the top five.

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The biggest mover in the rankings was Daryl Mitchell, with the New Zealand batsman rising 33 places to 17th after scores of 190 and 69* in the second Test against England at Trent Bridge.

Kiwi pacer Kyle Jamieson has dropped three places to sixth after injuring his back against England, prompting some reshuffle in the latest bowling rankings.

This moved India pacer Jasprit Bumrah (3rd), Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi (4th) and South African pacer Kagiso Rabada (fifth) all up one spot, while a pair of Jamieson’s New Zealand teammates took the top spot. Changed position at 10.

Experienced left-armer Trent Boult jumped four places to ninth in the bowling rankings, but compatriot Tim Southee dropped five places to 13th.

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