By India Today Sports Desk: Joe Root dethroned Marnus Labuschagne from the No. 1 spot in ICC Rankings for men's Test batters after his heroics with the bat in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston against Australia. Root ended Labuschagne's stay at the top of the batting charts as the Australian star had to vacate the sport which he held for just over six months.
Joe Root continued his sensational batting form as he began the Ashes 2023 series with an unbeaten 121 in the first innings against Australia. He followed it up with 46 in the second innings but his efforts went in vain as Australia clinched a thrilling win by 2 wickets over England on Tuesday, June 20.
However, Root, who talked up Bazball despite England's defeat, was rewarded for his consistent performances with the bat for England. He now holds the top spot with 887 points.
Marnus Labuschagne had a poor start to the Ashes campaign as the right-hander was dismissed for 0 and 13 against England in Birmingham. He dropped from No. 1 to No. 3 as New Zealand captain Kane Williamson took the 2nd spot.
Travis Head, who hit a fifty in the first innings of the Edgbaston Test, dropped to No. 4 in the batting charts while Steve Smith took a 4-place fall after his twin failure in the first Ashes Test. Smith managed scores of 16 and 6, failing to live up to the pre-series expectations, especially after having scored a hundred against India in the WTC 2023 final earlier in June.
The difference in points between No. 1 Root and No. 6 Smith is just 26 as the race for the top spot is closely contested at the moment.
ICC Test Rankings for Batters (As of June 21, 2023)
- Joe Root - 887 points
- Kane Williamson - 883
- Marnus Labuschagne - 877
- Travis Head - 873
- Babar Azam - 862
- Steve Smith - 861
- Usman Khawaja - 836
- Daryl Mitchell - 792
- Dimuth Karunaratne - 780
- Rishabh Pant - 758
Australia opener Usman Khawaja was adjudged Player of the Match for his heroics against England and the 36-year-old rose to a new career best rating and seventh place overall, while young gun Harry Brook also earnt the highest mark of his short Test career by jumping five places to 13th on the latest Test rankings.
Rishabh Pant, who has not played competitive cricket since December 2022, retained his 10th spot with Virat Kohli dropped a spot to No. 14.
Meanwhile, R Ashwin, who did not play the WTC final, retained his top spot in ICC Test Rankings for bowlers. Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad both rose one place inside the top 10, while teammate Moeen Ali returned to the rankings in 52nd spot after comeback from retirement to play in Birmingham.