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Labuschagne is world’s best batter again

Australia's Marnus Labuschagne has returned to the top of the ICC batting rankings after his heroics in Perth.

Australia's Marnus Labuschagne has returned to the top of the ICC batting rankings after his heroics in Perth. Photo: AAP

Marnus Labuschagne has overtaken England’s Joe Root to grab top spot in the ICC men’s Test player rankings after becoming just the eighth player to score a double-century and century in the same Test.

Labuschagne, who was just two points behind Root before the two ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Tests were completed over the past week, now enjoys a healthy lead at the top as Root slipped to fourth behind Steve Smith and Babar Azam (Pakistan).

Labuschagne’s scores of 204 and 104 not out in the first Test against the West Indies in Perth earned him 50 rating points and he leads compatriot Smith by 42 rating points.

The Queenslander has regained the No.1 position after Root overtook him in mid-June with successive centuries against New Zealand.

Smith himself has gained two slots after contributing to the win with unbeaten scores of 200 and 20, along with Labuschagne registering the fifth instance of two Australians scoring double-centuries in the same Test. Smith’s tally of 893 rating points is his highest since January 2021.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon moved up one place to 15th among bowlers after an eight-wicket haul that helped complete a 164-run victory and consolidate his team’s top position in the WTC points table.

For the West Indies, captain Kraigg Brathwaite is back in the top 20 after scores of 64 and 110 in the Perth Test while Kyle Mayers progressed to 41st in the bowlers’ rankings.

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