The ICC Rankings are as competitive as ever, but with a cycle of the World Test Championship done, the time seems right to review those at the top of the rankings.
10) Jason Holder
Jason Holder has had a tough time with the West Indies side in recent times. He lost his captaincy, but his bowling has been as consistent as ever. Jason Holder can extract good bounce with his height despite being slower than the other West Indies bowlers. Jason Holder contributed effectively against South Africa and Sri Lanka and is now one of West Indies’ more experienced bowlers. He is the only West Indies bowler in the ICC Rankings.
9) Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc may not have been at his best against India, but his pace makes him a very effective and scary pacer. He is a part of a strong pace trio and adds many flares with his pace. Due to the pandemic, Mitchell Starc didn’t get to play much Test Cricket over the last two years. Before the series against India, Starc featured in a home series against New Zealand. The series was a brilliant one as the pacer took 15 wickets across three Tests. He may not have been at his best, but his supporting acts, and ability to clean up the tail justifies his position in the ICC rankings.
8) James Anderson
At the age of 38, James Anderson is still pushing the batters hard. He has bowled well over the last few years and is doing more than enough to keep himself among the top bowlers in the World. With England playing a fair amount of Test Cricket during the pandemic, James Anderson has done an excellent job against the likes of Pakistan at home. He took a six-wicket haul in Sri Lanka and bowling a long spell, and did well in India. He has been around for many years, and his spot in the top Ten of the ICC Rankings exhibits the skill possessed.
7) Stuart Broad
While James Anderson is at number eight on the ICC Rankings, it only fits to have his long-time bowling partner in the top ten as well; Stuart Broad currently is at number seven and has peaked vastly over the last two years. He was brilliant in the 2019 Ashes and followed up with an intense tour of South Africa. His performances kept rising, and Stuart Broad also expressed disappointment when he was left out for a Test against the West Indies. Though his bowling is as good as ever, the pacemaker has some challenging assignments coming up.
6) Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada is currently one of the best bowlers in South Africa and is among the best young fast bowlers in the World. His ability to maintain pace and accuracy has made him a potent weapon anywhere in the World. While South African Cricket has been going through a tough time, Kagiso Rabada helped unveil a strong pace attack that shows a lot of promise for the future. Kagiso Rabada, in particular, hasn’t had many standout performances in recent times but has chipped in with handy wickets at crucial moments. HE is a consistent performer and is developing into a strong fast-bowler which is why his position in the ICC Rankings can see a change..
5) Neil Wagner
New Zealand has a strong pace bowling attack, and among the pacers, Neil Wagner has done well to hold his own. He doesn’t seem like a wicket-taker, but his ability to bowl long spells ensures that Wagner is awarded wickets. He usually bowls when the pitch doesn’t have much to offer and is relentless with the short ball. He maintains a friendly smirk on his face and is not afraid of a fight. In the last few years, Neil Wagner’s stocks have increased. His performance in Australia was brilliant despite a tough series for New Zealand. The series was followed by countless strong performances, and his position in the ICC Rankings has seen a massive boost in recent times.
4) Josh Hazlewood
While Mitchell Starc relies on pace and targets the stump ruthlessly, Josh Hazlewood is ruthless with accuracy. He hits the hard lengths, gets seam movement, and troubles the batters with his height and angles. His recent performances include a series against India in which he was brilliant. He finished the series with 17 wickets and supported Cummins well. He is one of the three Australian pacers on the ICC Rankings and is a part of a powerful bowling attack.
3) Tim Southee
Tim Southee is one of the quieter bowlers and operates in silence. His performances don’t make the headlines often, but a look into his numbers justifies his position at number three on the ICC Rankings. He is part of New Zealand’s pair along with Trent Boult, and his recent performances have provided vital support to a side with a strong pace attack. His six-for in Lord’s remains a standout as he blew away the English batting line-up and nearly carried New Zealand to a Test victory.
2) Ravichandran Ashwin
In a table dominated by pacers, we have a spinner who takes the number two spot of the ICC Rankings. Ravichandran Ashwin has grown into a brilliant off-spinner over the years and has been brilliant in the last two years. He is the leading wicket-taker for the first World Test Championship and bowled well in Australia to prove he could be a handful away from the subcontinent. He continued his excellent form by doing well at home against England, winning the man-of-the-series award, and held his own in the WTC finals.
1) Pat Cummins
Like Ashwin, Pat Cummins has been in the form of his life, and the wickets keep piling up for the pacer. He is a crucial bowler for Australia and is always called up when wickets are needed. He is a partnership breaker, and his numbers in the recent Border-Gavaskar Trophy demonstrate why the fast bowler is on top of the ICC Rankings. In four Tests, Pat Cummins took 21 wickets and was well ahead of many other star bowlers.