Bairstow hits career-high ICC ranking

England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow has achieved his highest ranking to date in the ICC rankings for Test Batsmen after hitting his third career century in the Lord’s Test against Sri Lanka.

Bairstow scored a Test best 167 not out in the first innings and then followed up with 32. These scores not only won him the player of the match award, but also earned him a rise of three places.

He now sits in 18th position and is the third England batsman after Joe Root and captain Alastair Cook to feature inside the top 20 of the batting table.

Bairstow had entered the three-Test series in 36th position and gained 18 places following his series aggregate of 387 runs that also earned him the player of the series award.

Besides Bairstow, England’s duo of Cook and Alex Hales also made upward movements, while Root’s double failure meant he slipped two places to fourth in the latest rankings.

Cook moved up three places to 13th following scores of 85 and 49 not out, while Hales vaulted eight places to 62nd after scores of 18 and 94.

Sri Lanka’s openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva also made impressive gains. Karunaratne, who scored 50 and 37 not out, jumped four places to 33rd position, while Silva climbed eight places to 36th following scores of 79 and 16.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews retained his ninth position, just one point ahead of Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, while Dinesh Chandimal dropped out of the top 20 after slipping two places to 21st.

Australia captain Steve Smith lead the batting table, while New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and Hashim Amla of South Africa moved up one position each to second and third respectively, following Root’s drop from second to fourth.

In the rankings for Test bowlers, England’s Steven Finn returned to the top 20 while Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal achieved career-high rankings.

Finn took three for 59 in the first innings, for which he was rewarded with a rise of two places that put him in 19th position. He is now the third England bowler after number-one ranked James Anderson and third-ranked Stuart Broad to feature inside the top 20.

Pradeep, who took two for 104 and three for 37, rocketed 10 places to 33rd, while Lakmal’s three wickets in the first innings gave him a lift of five places that put him alongside Bangladesh’s Taijul Islam in 42nd spot.

Meanwhile, a 2-0 series win means England gained three points and has consequently reduced the six-point gap with third-ranked Pakistan to just three points. Pakistan will be England’s next opponent when the two sides will go head to head in a four-Test series from 14 July at Lord’s.

Seventh-ranked Sri Lanka, in contrast, slipped from 88 points to 85. This means their gap with sixth-ranked South Africa opened up from four points to seven.

Australia are the number-one ranked Test side and will take on Sri Lanka in a three-Test series from 26 July, while India are ranked second and will square-off against eighth-ranked West Indies in a four-Test series from 21 July.

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