Azhar Ali joins Sachin Tendulkar in 10th position

Pakistan’s Azhar Ali is sharing 10th position with India’s iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen which were updated after the Dubai Test which finished on Monday.

Azhar Ali scored 157 in Pakistan’s second innings score of 365 which set England a target of 324. England finished 71 runs short when it was bowled out for 252 to suffer a 3-0 whitewash – its first against Pakistan in 22 series.

For making his highest first-class score, Azhar was not only declared the man of the match but was also rewarded with a jump of 12 places in the batting table which has given him a place alongside Tendulkar.

For someone like Azhar Ali, who was first picked as a fast bowler in the Pakistan Under-19 squad in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2002, this is a huge turnaround in his career.

Azhar, who was shortlisted for the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year Award at the LG ICC Awards in London in 2011, featured in a match-winning 216-run third wicket partnership with Pakistan’s most experienced batsman Younus Khan. Younus’ contribution in that stand was 127, which was his 20th Test century.

For this, the 34-year-old has made a jump of five places which puts him back in the fifth position. Younus had dropped six places to 10th spot after the Abu Dhabi Test following scores of 24 and one.

England captain Andrew Strauss and Pakistan’s other youngster Asad Shafiq have also made gains. Strauss has lifted five places to 28th position after scores of 56 and 25, while Shafiq, who scored 45 in Pakistan’s first innings score of 99 all-out, has moved up four places to 43rd spot.

Batsmen losing ground include Alastair Cook in sixth (down by one), Misbah-ul-Haq in 12th (down by four), Jonathon Trott in 13th (down by seven), Ian Bell in 17th (down by five), Kevin Pietersen in 20th (down by one), Matt Prior in 22nd (down by one), Mohammad Hafeez in 33rd (down by three), Taufeeq Umar in 41st (down by six), Stuart Broad in 48th (down by two) and Adnan Akmal in 83rd (down by 11).

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