Pakistan top order batsman Babar Azam, who is considered one of the best batsmen in the limited overs cricket, ended 2018 on a high note with impressive strides in Test cricket.

In the latest ICC's Test Player Rankings, Azam has gained nine slots to reach 27th position after innings of 71 and six against South Africa in the first Test, which Pakistan lost owing to batting line meltdown in the second inning.

Meanwhile, left-arm fast bowlers Mohammad Amir (up two places to 34th) and Shaheen Afridi (up 38 places to 73rd) have advanced after taking four and five wickets in Centurion.

Azam is currently the numero uno batsman in T20I format, and is rated the fifth best batsman in ODIs. With 616 Test runs at an average of 56, Azam was Pakistan's leading run-getter in 2018. He was followed by Haris Sohail (550 runs at 39.2), Asad Shafiq (536 runs at 33.5) and Azhar Ali (517 at 39.89).

Among the bowlers, Abbas and Yasir took 38 wickets apiece in seven and six Tests respectively, while Hasan bagged 22 wickets in six Tests. Meanwhile, Pakistan concluded 2018 placing sixth in the Test ranking, after it improved one place grabbing Sri Lanka's spot.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2018