<a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/pakistan" target="_blank">Pakistan</a> opener <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/Azhar-Ali" target="_blank">Azhar Ali</a> has moved up 10 places to reach a career-high sixth rank in the MRF Tyres <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/icc" target="_blank">ICC</a> Player Rankings for Test Batsmen even as top-ranked <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/Steven-Smith" target="_blank">Steven Smith</a> has finished the year-end rankings with a personal best in terms of rating points. Azhar s scores of 205 not out and 43 in the second Test against Australia in Melbourne, which ended on Friday, could not prevent Pakistan from going 2-0 down in the three-Test series with an innings and 18 runs loss, but was a culmination of some consistent performances in 2016. The 31-year-old opener found his way up from 20<sup>th</sup> rank during a year which saw him become the first Pakistan batsman to slam a double-century in Australia and also the first from his country to notch two scores of more than 200 in a calendar year. <p></p> <p></p>Smith s 165 not out has taken him to 937 points as he has ended the year where he started in top position. The Australia captain s tally is the 10<sup>th</sup> highest ever and the highest since former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara s 938 points in December 2007. Smith s team-mates David Warner and Usman Khawaja also have much to cheer about. Warner s breezy 144 in Melbourne has lifted him up two places to fifth position while Khawaja has gained five slots to reach a career-best 13<sup>th</sup> rank after starting the year in 31<sup>st</sup> position. <p></p> <p></p><strong><a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/series/pakistan-in-australia-2016-17-200382/live-scores/australia-vs-pakistan-2nd-test-match-181144-summary.html">Full cricket scorecard: Australia vs Pakistan, 2nd Test at Melbourne</a></strong> <p></p> <p></p>South Africa opener Stephen Cook s three centuries in his first year of Test cricket have helped him attain a creditable 25<sup>th</sup>position. His scores of 59 and 117 in a 206 runs win against Sri Lanka in the first Test which ended in Port Elizabeth on Friday, has seen him move up 18 positions from 43<sup>rd</sup> rank before this match. <p></p> <p></p>India spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have finished the year in the top two positions in the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers<span style="text-decoration: underline;">,</span> which has seen South Africa fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott finish with career-high ranks after taking four and five wickets, respectively, in Port Elizabeth. <p></p> <p></p><strong><a title="Azhar Ali scores double-hundred at MCG: Twitter reactions" href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/azhar-ali-scores-double-hundred-at-mcg-twitter-reactions-561396">Azhar Ali scores double-hundred at MCG: Twitter reactions</a></strong> <p></p> <p></p>Rabada, who finished with 46 wickets in nine Tests this year, has retained his 17<sup>th</sup> position while Abbott has gained seven positions to reach 21<sup>st</sup> rank. Apart from Stephen Cook, the other newcomers to shine with the bat in their first year are Sri Lanka s Dhananjaya de Silva (31<sup>st</sup> rank), Australia s Peter Handscomb and India s Karun Nair (joint-55<sup>th</sup> rank) and India all-rounder Jayant Yadav (59<sup>th</sup>rank). <p></p> <p></p>In the list of bowlers, Bangladesh spinner Mehdi Hassan (34<sup>th</sup> rank) and New Zealand fast bowler Colin de Grandhomme (51<sup>st</sup> rank) had fine first years in Test cricket. There is no change among the top five in the list of all-rounders after these two Tests, with Ashwin continuing to lead the table.