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Mahela Jayawardena Picks Star Player to Dethrone as Top Test Batsmen



Mahela Jayawardena Picks Star Player to Dethrone as Top Test Batsmen

Mahela Jayawardena Picks Star Player to Dethrone as Top Test Batsmen: Sri Lankan former cricketer Mahela Jayawardena has used the latest episode of the ICC review to declare which batter he thinks is the best place to overtake England’s Joe Root at the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Test batting Rankings.

England veteran batsmen Joe Root at the top of the Test batsmen rankings since June 2022. He also enjoyed a fine WTC and in a rich vein of form under new coach Brendon McCullum.

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The former England captain has scored more runs than any other player since the turn of the decade, and deservedly claimed the ICC Men’s Test Player of the Year award in 2021.

When host Sanjana Ganesan put Jayawardena on the spot during the latest episode of The ICC Review, the Sri Lankan great tipped Babar to dethrone Root at the top of the Test Rankings.

“Tough one!” Jayawardena exclaimed. “I would say Babar Azam has an opportunity. He’s been consistent in all three formats and it shows in his rankings. He’s a naturally gifted player, plays in all conditions, he’s got the game to adapt as well.

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“It depends on the amount of cricket, who’s playing when and how much but the Babar might be the guy.”

Babar is the only player in the top three in the batters’ rankings in all three formats, occupying the top spot in each of the white-ball formats and currently ranked No.3 in Tests.

“T20Is and ODIs, it is tough one to hold on to because there are a lot of good players who have to be consistent,” Jayawardena said.

“As long as he can be that, because he has a very good role to play in that Pakistan setup – they have batters to bat around him, so he can play his own game – he should be able to hold on to that and at the same time, push himself to get better.

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“He batted really well in Sri Lanka. I think Prabath (Jayasuriya) was his nemesis – he got him three times out of the four innings. That was a very good battle to watch. Babar got a really good hundred in the first Test match.

“He’s always going to push himself to get better. Seen in a couple of his interviews recently that it is his goal as well to be No.1 across the table. There’s no harm in challenging yourself to get there.

“Being the captain as well, he has taken responsibility and performed, which is great to see. (It’s) Not an easy thing to do.

“I would put my money on him at least for a little while to hold to all three but there are some good quality players around who will keep pushing him.”


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