Joe Root’s match-saving century in the first Test against India has helped the young star become England’s highest-ranked batsman in the latest ICC Test Rankings, reports Sky Sports.
The Yorkshireman scored 154 not out as he and James Anderson helped steer the hosts away from trouble at Trent Bridge, which has helped him rise 10 places in the world batting rankings up to 16th place.
It represents the 23-year-old’s highest-ever ranking since making his five-day debut against India in December 2012. A fourth Test hundred of his career – against the same opponents – has helped him move up after being 38th in the world earlier this year.
Root now sits above England teammates, Kevin Pietersen (18th), Ian Bell (20th) and Alastair Cook (25th).
With uncertainty surrounding the future of a team searching for their first Test win in almost a year, Root has been a shining light as England have fallen into the abyss.
After coming into the side initially as an opener, the Yorkshire batsman has found more success since being bumped further down the order.
His highest score in the purest form of the game came earlier this summer when scored an unbeaten double hundred against the Sri Lankans at Lord’s. That knock helped him recover from missing the last Test of the Ashes tour down under at the beginning of 2014.
The home of cricket has been a happy hunting ground for the right-hander, where he has posted scores of 200 not out and 180 in his last two Test appearances there against Sri Lanka and Australia respectively.
With England looking to return to winning ways, they will be hoping that Root’s good run at Lord’s can continue when they second Test with India gets underway there this week.
They will also be aided by the bowling – and batting – of Stuart Broad, who returned to the top ten in the world after taking match figures of 4-103 at his home ground in Nottingham.
International newcomers, Sam Robson and Gary Balance have also risen in the rankings, following impressive performances against the touring Indians.
Balance hit 71 to move to 70th in the world, meanwhile the Middlesex opener’s 56 helped him move up 16 positions to number 78.
While these individual improvements will help boost morale, it is as a team where England need to address their Test performances. Since winning the fourth Test against Australia at Chester-le-Street last August, Alastair Cook’s side have failed to win any of their last nine five-day encounters.