England’s Joe Root moves to top of Test batting rankings

England’s Joe Root moves to top of Test batting rankings

England’s Joe Root has leapfrogged Ashes rivals Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head to top the Test batting rankings.

The Yorkshireman’s performance in scoring a combined 164 runs – 118 not out and 46 – at Edgbaston in the first Test defeat to Australia propelled him five places up the International Cricket Council’s rankings.

Labuschagne dropped two places to third after making just 13, including a first-ball duck in the first innings, with Head falling to fourth despite a first-innings half-century.

Joe Root celebrates his first-innings century at Edgbaston
Joe Root celebrates his first-innings century at Edgbaston (Mike Egerton/PA).

Edgbaston man-of-the-match Usman Khawaja, the fourth Australian in the top 10 along with Steve Smith, moved up two places to seventh after scores of 141 and 65.

England’s next-best performer is Harry Brook, who rose five spots to 13th on the back of scores of 32 and 46.

James Anderson retained his place as the second best bowler in the world, despite a disappointing display in Birmingham, while Ollie Robinson moved into the top five with five wickets in the first Test.

Meanwhile, following a thrilling final day at Edgbaston, England and Australia have both been fined 40 per cent of their match fees and deducted two World Test Championship points for slow over-rates.

Despite serving up a breathless finale in which the tourists snatched a two-wicket victory on a see-saw fifth evening, both teams have been punished for failing to get through their overs quickly enough.

Captains Ben Stokes and Pat Cummins pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the proposed sanctions, so there was no need for formal hearings, the ICC said.

As the match was the first in the new WTC cycle, that means England’s reward for the attacking tactics that moved the game towards its dramatic conclusion despite long rain delays is to sit on minus two in the table.

Australia picked up 12 points for their Cummins-inspired win, so drop back to 10.

All 22 players have also lost 40 per cent of their match fees, which equates to around £6,000 for the English contingent.