Kevin O'Brien Makes Giant Strides, Steve Smith Still Leads ICC Test Rankings
Kevin O'Brien scored Ireland's maiden Test century in their first-ever Test against Pakistan.
- Kevin O'Brien hit 118 to become Ireland's maiden Test centurion
- Smith is followed by Virat Kohli and Joe Root at the top of the pile
- Former Australia skipper Steve Smith still leads the batting charts
Kevin O'Brien hit an unbeaten 118 to become Ireland's maiden Test centurion to help his team fight back after they were asked to follow-on against Pakistan in their one-off Test, eventually losing by five wickets at Malahide in Dublin. Riding on his brilliant knock, the 34-year-old has made it to the 66th spot with a total of 440 points in the latest ICC Test Player Rankings released on Wednesday. O'Brien, who was named the Player of the Match, is the only Irish batsman in the top 100, with Stuart Thompson, who hit 53 in the hosts' second-innings effort of 339, the next best at number 125 with 218 points.
There is not much Test cricket taking place right now. Therefore, there was only one change in the top 10 in the list for batsmen and none at all among the top 15 for bowlers.
Former Australia skipper Steve Smith, who has been banned from international cricket for one year by Cricket Australia due to his involvement in the ball-tampering saga that unfolded in South Africa, still leads the batting charts with 929 points. Smith is followed by Virat Kohli and Joe Root at the top of the pile for batsmen, with Kane Williamson, David Warner, AB de Villiers, Cheteshwar Pujara, Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram below them, but Hashim Amla has moved up to number 10 after Azhar Ali, the Pakistan opening batsman, had a poor Test against Ireland with scores of 4 and 2. Ali moved down to number 12.
The big mover among Pakistani batsmen, meanwhile, was debutant Faheem Ashraf, whose 83 from number 8 was the top score in his team's first innings. He earned 392 points to be at number 81. Imam-ul-Haq, also debuting in the match, scored 74* in the second innings to lift Pakistan from a precarious 14/3 in collaboration with Babar Azam (59) and got 274 points to get to number 113.