DUBAI: Aaron Finch has catapulted back into the top 10 of the International Cricket Council’s ODI batting rankings after a stunning return to form against Pakistan.
The Australian one-day captain posted knocks of 116, 153, 90, 39 and 53 as his team claimed a 5-0 series whitewash in the United Arab Emirates and his record-breaking series has been rewarded with a huge leap up the batting charts.
Finch now sits at No.9, up from No.21, with 744 rankings points — matching his previous career high achieved during the 2015 World Cup.
Fellow opener Usman Khawaja has also been rewarded after a series that saw the elegant left-hander strike 272 runs at 54.4, climbing from 25th spot to a career-best 19th.
Meanwhile, Pat Cummins has moved up one spot to a career-best sixth place in the bowling charts after picking up 3-23 in his sole appearance of the series.
Finch’s union with Khawaja was one of the major highlights of Australia’s campaign in the UAE and the pair now average 64.07 batting together, comfortably the highest mark ever recorded by Australian opening pair (minimum 10 innings together).
It set to cause some headaches for Australian selectors, given David Warner’s blazing form in the Indian Premier League, but coach Justin Langer insists it’s a good problem to have.
“Aaron has had a really good partnership with David Warner as well. This partnership’s blossoming between Aaron and ‘Uzzie’ at the moment,” Langer said.
“They [Finch and Khawaja] did it in the Test series as well [against Pakistan in October], they seem to jell really well. They’re both pretty chilled out and I think they work really well together. I think it’s a positive thing.
“David has shown he’s a very versatile player, Uzzie’s batted three a number of times, Finchy’s batted in the middle order. Versatility’s important.”
Latest ODI players’ rankings:
Batsmen: 1. Virat Kohli (India) 890 rankings points, 2. Rohit Sharma (India) 839, 3. Ross Taylor (New Zealand) 830, 4. Quinton de Kock (South Africa) 803, 5. Faf du Plessis (South Africa) 801, 6. Joe Root (England) 791, 7. Babar Azam (Pakistan) 781, 8. Martin Guptill (New Zealand) 750, 9 equal. Aaron Finch (Australia) 744, 9 equal. Shai Hope (West Indies) 744, 10. Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan) 736.
Bowlers: 1. Jasprit Bumrah (India) 774 rankings points, 2. Trent Boult (New Zealand) 759, 3. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) 747, 4. Imran Tahir (South Africa) 703, 5. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa) 701, 6. Pat Cummins (Australia) 694, 7. Kuldeep Yadav (India) 689, 8. Yuzvendra Chahal (India) 680, 9. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan) 678, 10. Adil Rashid (England) 672.
Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2019