Pat Cummins rockets up the ICC rankings while Steve Smith holds firm

Pat Cummins rockets up the ICC rankings while Steve Smith holds firm
Pat Cummins celebrates another wicket. Photo: David Molloy Photography, Wikimedia Commins

Off the back of a breakout year of cricket fast bowler Pat Cummins has shot up the ICC rankings, to now be ranked as the third best bowler in the world. His batting, with his ability to stick around and help the tail to rescue an innings, has also helped him climb to be the 7th best all-rounder in Test cricket.

Cummins has had a break out year, starting with the home Ashes series which began in December 2017. He threatened with the bat and ball in that series, and has been Australia’s best bowler since then, particularly in the wake of the sandpaper scandal. In Australia’s last Test, against Sri Lanka over the Australia Day long weekend, he took 10 wickets for 62 runs across the tourists’ two innings.

Cummins has now played 19 tests and taken 90 wickets in that time to be Australia’s second highest wicket taker in that period, only 1 behind Jeff Thomson in that time – although Cummins has a better average. If Cummins can take 10 wickets across his next two matches he will overtake Thomson and Dennis Lillee to be the fastest Australian to 100 Test wickets.

Unusually for an Australian fast bowler Cummins has been as prolific away from home as he is in Australia. In home Tests he has taken 47 wickets in 10 tests, while away he has taken 43 in 9. Incredibly, Cummins has achieved all this without the benefit of the new ball, which provides considerable assistance to bowlers – particularly ones as quick as Cummins. He and Jason Holder (West Indies, ranked 10) are the only fast bowlers in the world top 10 to not use the new ball.

Cummins is also ranked above highly rated England pair Moeen Ali (8) and Chris Woakes (10) as an all-rounder. Fellow quick Mitchell Starc (9) is also in the top 10 for all-rounders, which gives Australia some much needed batting depth. Banned Australian pair Steve Smith (4) and David Warner (6) are also still in the top 10 batsmen, despite not playing since March.

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