Dubai, Aug 3:
Skipper Azhar Ali and his deputy Babar Azam will be aiming to move up the ladder in the ICC Test rankings when Pakistan take on England in the three-match series starting on Wednesday.
According to latest rankings, Azhar, presently 27th among batsmen, will be hoping to regain the form that lifted him to a career-best sixth in December 2016, while Babar will be hoping to progress from a career-best aggregate of 800 rating points.
Babar is currently sixth after having occupied a career-high fifth place in February.
Asad Shafiq (18th) and Shan Masood (33rd) are other Pakistan batsmen to have enjoyed higher rankings in the past but will have to contend with a sharp bowling attack in order to move up again.
In the bowling department, pacer Mohammad Abbas (13th) and experienced leg-spinner Yasir Shah (24th), who have in the past, been ranked third and first, respectively, and left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi (32nd) are other Pakistan players to watch.
For England, Stokes displaced West Indies captain Jason Holder from the top of the all-rounders’ list during their last series and formerly top-ranked Broad rose to third position in the bowlers’ list, currently led by Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins.
Stokes is also England’s top-ranked batsman in fourth position, with captain Joe Root (ninth) and opener Rory Burns (17th) their next batsmen on the list. (PTI)