Joe Root has dropped out of the world’s Test batting top 10 for the first time in more than five years.
Root, fell to 11th in the latest ICC rankings, released on Tuesday, after scores of two and 11 in England’s innings defeat in the first Test against New Zealand.
With an average of 27.40 from 10 Tests this year compared with 47.35 for his career, it is the first time since August 2014 that Root – who was the world’s No. 1 batsman in August 2015 – has sat outside the top 10. His figures have also fallen since he took over the England Test captaincy in 2017, averaging 39.70 since then compared with 52.80 beforehand.
Root said it was “an easy excuse” to say his captaincy had led to his poor form with the bat.
“I’ve had a rough time in terms of scores,” Root said. “I’m working hard. You have to go through a bit of a dip. The fact I’m captain, it’s an easy excuse to use. I’m going to have to keep trusting my game because I’ve got a lot in the bank. I must not overthink things and just try to find that rhythm which allows me to get my innings off and running.”
Ben Stokes reached a career-high ninth on the latest list to be the highest-ranked England player in the batting rankings. India opener Mayank Agarwal broke into the top ten for batsmen, replacing Root at No. 10.
New Zealand left-arm quick Neil Wagner moved up to No.3 among bowlers in the ICC Test rankings. He gained five places after bagging eight wickets, including a five-for in the second innings, to lead New Zealand to victory against England in the first-ever Test in Mount Maunganui.
Wagner’s team-mate BJ Watling, who became the first New Zealand wicketkeeper to make a Test double-hundred, shot up 12 spots to be placed 12th among Test batsmen. Watling had soaked up 473 balls in Mount Maunganui – only Sri Lanka’s Brendon Kuruppu has faced more balls than the New Zealander among wicketkeeper-batsmen in a Test innings.
Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne reached career-best points tally of 684 and slotted in at 21. Labuschagne’s 185 in the Brisbane Test was central to Australia securing an innings victory over Pakistan.
David Warner, who endured a torrid Ashes series in England, opened the home Test summer with 154 and gained six places to move to 17th. Steven Smith continues to be the No.1-ranked Test batsman with 931 points, followed closely by India captain Virat Kohli with 928 points, having hit a century in the first-ever pink-ball Test in India.