Joe Root: England batter returns to top of ICC Test batting rankings

Joe Root has risen to the top of the International Cricket Council’s Test batting rankings following his brilliant recent form for England.

Yorkshire’s Root stepped down as his country’s captain in April, but has been piling up the runs and played a key role as England took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series against New Zealand.

The ICC said: “Marnus Labuschagne’s reign as the highest-ranked Test batter in the world is over as England right-hander Joe Root claimed top spot on the latest ICC MRF Tyres Men’s Test Batter rankings.

“Labuschagne rose to the top in December last year following knocks of 103 and 51 against England in Adelaide, but Root’s recent run of form has seen the Australian usurped at the head of proceedings.

“Root has already scored four centuries this calendar year and become just the second Englishman to score more than 10,000 Test runs and that has seen the 31-year-old jump in front of Labuschagne as the number one-ranked batter in the world.”

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Root has a total of 897 rating points, five points more than Labuschagne in second place, the ICC said.

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

Meanwhile, England have been fined for a slow over-rate in their second Test win against New Zealand at Trent Bridge, the ICC has announced.

World cricket’s governing body has confirmed England have been fined 40 per cent of their match fee and penalised two World Test Championship points.

The ICC said: “Richie Richardson of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees imposed the sanction after England were ruled to be two overs short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration.

“In accordance with Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to minimum over-rate offences, players are fined 20 per cent of their match fee for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time.

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“In addition, as per Article 16.11.2 of the ICC World Test Championship playing conditions, a side is penalised one point for each over short.

“Consequently, two World Test Championship points have been deducted from England’s points total.”

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