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Pakistan captain Babar Azam moved one step closer to the top spot on the ICC rankings in all three formats after another upward shift in ICC’s latest Test batting ranking.

Babar is already the top batter in both ODI and T20I rankings, and is on the right track to be the top batter across formats after overtaking Australian Steve Smith. He is now behind England’s Joe Root and Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne in the latest Test rankings announced by the ICC on Wednesday.

Babar also achieved a career-high rating of 874 points thanks to his backs-against-the-wall century in the first innings of Pakistan’s first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

In the Test, Babar contributed 119 runs - the majority scored in the company of tailenders - to a team total of 218 runs. This amounted to 55% of Pakistan’s first-innings runs, helping the team stay within striking distance of Sri Lanka’s 222-run first innings total.

Babar recently said that it was his dream to become the number one batter in all three formats. With this surge in the rankings, he is one step closer to realising that extremely challenging goal.

Shaheen shines

Azam wasn’t the only Pakistnai moving upward in the recent rankings. Pacer Shaheen Afridi also moved up one spot.

Afridi’s four wickets in the first innings of the win in the first Test against Sri Lanka propelled him ahead of India’s Jasprit Bumrah into third place among bowlers. He is now behind Australian captain Pat Cummins and Indian spinner Ravinchandra Ashwin.

Pakistan opener Abdullah Shafique was the biggest mover after his match-winning second innings century against the Lankans in Galle. The youngster, who was named Player of the Match, moved up 23 ranks to 16th overall in the batter ratings with 671 points.