England vice-captain Ben Stokes’ match-winning performance in the second test against West Indies hoisted him above Windies skipper Jason Holder to become the top-ranked all-rounder in the game’s longest format, the International Cricket Council said on Tuesday.
Stokes followed up his 176 in the first innings with an unbeaten 78 in the second and also picked up three wickets in the contest to pull off a series-levelling win on Monday, earning the player-of-the-match award.
The 29-year-old overtook Holder in the latest rankings to become the first England player to reach the top spot since Andrew Flintoff in May 2006.
His moving average of 497 rating points, the highest of any test all-rounder since South Africa great Jacques Kallis racked up 517 in April 2008, ended Holder’s 18-month reign at the top.
Stokes also climbed to a career-best third position among test batsmen, behind India’s Virat Kohli and Australia’s top-ranked Steve Smith.
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Meanwhile, Stokes played down injury concerns ahead of the third test at Manchester starting on Friday, after he did not finish an over when bowling late on Monday.
“I felt very old this test match. The body started to feel really stiff,” Stokes told the BBC. “I asked Broady (Stuart Broad) and he said ‘Just stop.’
“I had the same thing against Pakistan three or four years ago and I didn’t want to take the risk. For once, I’ve made the sensible call and listened to my body.”