New-ball bowler James Anderson will be looking to work his way back to the numero-uno spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Player Rankings when England take on Ireland in their one-off match at Lord’s from Wednesday, only 10 days after the iconic venue hosted the final of the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Anderson, who was overtaken by South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada in November last year and subsequently by the present No.1 Pat Cummins of Australia, is ranked second and has a chance to bridge the 16-point gap in the one-off Lord’s Test before featuring in a potential direct contest with Cummins in the subsequent Ashes series.
Anderson’s fellow England fast bowler Stuart Broad (19th) will be looking to retain a top-20 place, which he has maintained since 2009, while Moeen Ali (25th, 621 points) is only 12 points behind his best ever rating points achieved in August 2017.
England skipper Joe Root is the highest-ranked batsman on either side in sixth place while Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler are placed at the 26th and 27th spots, respectively.
For Ireland, Kevin O’Brien’s scores of 40 and 118 on debut against Pakistan and a subsequent half-century against Afghanistan have lifted him to 68th place while Gary Wilson is standing on the 140th spot in the batting table.
Stuart Thompson is Ireland's highest-ranked bowler in 64th position with Tim Murtagh just two places behind. Boyd Rankin, who played one Test for England in 2014, would be looking to improve his 106th position.
In the ICC Test Team Rankings, England will remain in fourth position and on 105 points if they win the match but will go down to 104 in case of a draw and to 102 should they suffer a loss. Ireland, on the other hand, will gain 13 points with a draw and 30 if they win, but will still need to play another five matches for a full ranking.