Steve Smith elevates his bat spiritedly in the air, after smacking a ruthless knock of double hundred against tiresome England team in the late Ashes 2019. And the spectators, acknowledging his class or excellence, rise up from their seats and enthusiastically applaud his batting skillfulness. The day isn’t long ago, when he was banned by ICC for a year because of scheming and conducting ball tampering with the, then vice-captain, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft in March 2018, during the 3rd test against South Africa at Cape Town. Right after a year of his banishment (March 28, 2018), he came back readily, and played as the captain for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2019. In ICC 50/50 WCC 2019, he inclined himself towards regaining his form, scoring four fifties. But the skilled man regained his intact form, scoring 774 runs in 8 innings (129 runs per knock) in England against England in Ashes 2019. His aforementioned batting exhibition made him the no “1” test batsman (ICC Test Batsmen Rankings, updated on 15th Sep 2019), with the rating of 937, and he is followed up by Indian captain, Virat Kohli, with the rating of 903. His deadly passion for the cricket made it feasible for him to regain and retain his stardom.
To comply with the momentousness of rankings, it must be noted that the every discipline or field of the humans’ world is characterized by the higher or lower achievers of it and they are ranked by the reputable or recognized organizations, for instance, WHO ranks the countries on the basis of their health’s grade and facilities accompanied with it, juxtaposing the paradigm of the health (might be a nation-state). The higher achievers are given awards and accolades, as Oscars and Nobel prizes.
Marching back to the cricket in no time: Do players toil for the rankings? It solely depends on the character or temperament of the players. Some sportsmen labour for the best manifestation of their potential. And some endeavor, to cruise progressively, keeping an eye on the rankings. But, don’t our cricketers intend to search down the official page of “ICC” and be known to the up-to-date rankings of all formats? I presume, some distinguished players do, but most don’t.
Initiating to deal with ICC rankings of Men’s Teams and Players in accordance to all three formats: Starting with the most esteemed, oldest and prestigious format of cricket; The tests, It’s an alarming fact to jot down or think of that, there is no batsman and all-rounder from Pakistan Cricket Team, who is representing or making Pakistan proud of its productiveness in the sports, in top 10 tests’ batsmen and all-rounders. Muhammad Abbas upholds the strenuous task to be in the top ten Tests’ bowlers, and he stands at the 10th rank, followed by Yasir Shah at 16th rank. The young-man, who spent 5 years in banishment after being accused of sport-fixing during notorious 2010 England’s tour and also the one, who, lately announced his retirement from the test cricket, has 30th rank in the bowlers’ category. Reflecting over Top Tests’ Batsmen, we get to know that, Steve Smith, who didn’t play international cricket for one year, is the no 1 batsman, followed by Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Cheteshwar Pujara, Henry Nicholls, and Joe Root at 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 respectively. Furthermore reflection brings forth that, in the top tests’ batsmen, there are 3 batsmen from New Zealand, and also 3 from India. Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and England have 1 batsman each from their camps. Thus, the question arises, where are our batsmen? They are here. Our top most test batsman is Babar Azam, who is at 16th standing, and sparing one rank after Babar, there appears the short-heighted man, Asad Shafiq at 18th rank, who only plays the test cricket at international circuit. The former captain of Pakistan Cricket team, Azhar Ali comes next at rank#21. And interestingly, our best all-rounder in tests is M. Amir, grade#28. The Test Team Rankings further panic us, when we see our team at 7th rank, performing better than only Windies, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
There comes now, the cricket of 50/50 overs, the ODI’s. These don’t frighten us to the extent as Test Rankings did. ODI Team Rankings is topped by ICC 50/50 WCC 2019 winning team, England, who is followed by India, who lost its winning streak in the late WCC in semis, and who thence, is succeeded by New Zealand, who shattered India’s batting in semis and battled courageously in the grand finale. Again, here, our team is below the figure 5, resides at 6th position. Coming to the ODI batting might, two Indian batsmen (Virat Kohli & Rohit Sharma) surpass all and gleam at the no 1 and 2. The no 3rd foremost batsman in the world is our batting prodigy, Babar Azam, who is famous for his solid technique and temperament amongst the best batsmen of the game. PSL find, Fakhar Zaman, follows the no.1 T20 batsman and he lies at no.18. And if we double up the figure’18’, surely we will get ‘36’, at 36th rank, Haris Sohail, the batter, whose stylish yet stunning batting leaves the spectators in awe. In the bowling category, Jasprit Bumra, glitters at the top, who is a wild user of ‘Yorker’. Muhamamd Amir, at no 13, becomes the supreme option for the selectors to include him, even though; his form deteriorates consecutively, taking into consideration the rank of his. The young gun, a find of PSL, Shaheen Shah Afridi, chases Amir, standing at 23. The all-rounders’ classification is distinguished by, the player, who directed Pakistan to a nail-biting win against Afghanistan, scoring 49* runs, in WCC 2019, Imad Wasim, who positions himself at no. 4.
The shortest format of the game is labeled, the paradise of Pakistan Cricket, as the team is no 1 T20 team. Nevertheless, the batsmen and the bowlers are no behind. On the account of all-rounders, here also, we are disappointed. The best T20 batsman among all T20 cricket playing nations is, Babar Azam. The 2nd finest bowler in T20’s is, Imad Wasim, pursued by another PSL find, Shadab Khan, at no 3rd.
All the discussion of rankings gears up our reasoning. Why is our T20 team the no.1? Why are our batsmen and bowlers exceeding in T20? And why do we lag behind in ODI’s and Tests? The answers to these questions can be as long as we want them to be. In short that, our players only adore the short formatted cricket, that’s why they are so adept or successful in it. And the abhorrence of longer formats have fallen them behind in rankings, evident from Test and ODI’s rankings. Moreover, the mental development of all-rounders must be deliberated over from the early learning phase of the player.