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LAHORE: Pakistani skipper Babar Azam has an opportunity to make an immediate impact as Pakistan’s 34th Test captain as a 2-0 series win will take his side to fifth on the ICC Test team rankings.

Pakistan are presently languishing seventh on the table but irrespective of how the Galle Test between Sri Lanka and England pans out, victories in the Karachi and Rawalpindi Tests will lift Pakistan from 84 points to 90 points which will make them displace South Africa who are currently on 90 points (five points drop).

However, Pakistan will be ranked above South Africa in fifth place when the points are calculated beyond the decimal point. If this happens, then it will be the first time since January 2017 when Pakistan will move to No.5 on the Test table.

Babar will eye a return to the top-five in the batting charts. Going into the Galle Test, Root leads Babar by two points but if both batsmen perform strongly, then Babar can potentially move ahead of the Englishman as he will be playing against a high-ranked side.

The next highest-ranked Pakistan batsman on the batting table is Azhar Ali, who is 19th – just two points behind India’s Rohit Sharma. He is followed by Mohammad Rizwan (36th) and Abid Ali (67th).

In the bowling table, Yasir is Pakistan’s highest-ranked bowler in 25th position and will be aiming to improve his ranking, while 33rd ranked Shaheen Shah Afridi can move up to as high as 29th if he manages to take some wickets at the National Stadium.

Moreover, Pakistan Cricket Board and SNTV Monday announced an extension of their partnership that will allow SNTV to provide news broadcasters around the world access to highlights of the Pakistan versus South Africa series and the HBL Pakistan Super League 2021.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021