Three England players made big strides in the rankings in the rain-hit third and final Test against Pakistan: James Anderson‘s seven wickets in the match – which took him to 600 Test wickets, the first seam bowler to get to the mark – put him at No. 8 among bowlers, while Zak Crawley and Jos Buttler rose in the batsmen’s chart after hitting 267 and 152 respectively in England’s only innings.
Anderson reaching the 600-wicket milestone was the story of the Test match, but Crawley was named Player of the Match for his mammoth double-century, his first three-figure score in his eighth Test. It was the second-highest maiden Test century by an English batsman and the seventh-highest overall, and gave him a lift of 53 positions in the list for batsmen to No. 28 with 605 rating points, both career highs.
Only Ben Stokes (No. 8), Joe Root (No. 9) and Buttler, who got to the 21st position after hitting his career-best score, are ahead of Crawley for England in the rankings.
Anderson had dropped out of the top ten, but the former world No. 1 got right back in to slot in at No. 8. In Southampton, not only did Anderson reach the 600-wicket mark in Tests, he also recorded his 29th five-wicket haul in Tests, in Pakistan’s first innings, before striking twice more in the second innings.
There wasn’t much joy for Pakistan, apart from Azhar Ali and Mohammad Rizwan moving up the batsmen’s rankings. Ali’s 141 in their first innings took him up 11 spots to No. 23, while Rizwan, who hit 53 in the first innings to build on the 72 in the previous Test, got to the 72nd spot, a jump of three positions.
At the end of the series, which England won 1-0 after winning the first Test by three wickets, the home side’s prospects of reaching the final of the World Test Championship had taken a hit. The WTC schedule is not halfway through yet, with 14 out of 27 series remaining, but England, after four series, are in third place behind India and Australia with just two series left – in Sri Lanka and in India – while Pakistan are further behind, at No. 5, with the second Test of their home series against Bangladesh, a tour of New Zealand and another home series against South Africa still to be played.