Prolific Babar moves to second spot in T20 rankings

Published April 22, 2021
Pakistan's captian Babar Azam walks off the pitch after being dismissed by Zimbabwe's Blessing Muzarabani during the first Twenty20 international cricket match between Zimbabwe and Pakistan at the Harare Sports Club in Harare on April 21. - AFP
Pakistan's captian Babar Azam walks off the pitch after being dismissed by Zimbabwe's Blessing Muzarabani during the first Twenty20 international cricket match between Zimbabwe and Pakistan at the Harare Sports Club in Harare on April 21. - AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan captain and star batsman Babar Azam has advanced one place to reach second position in the ICC men’s T20 International player rankings in Wednesday’s weekly update.

Right-handed Babar, who could score just two runs in the first T20 against Zimbabwe in Harare on Wednesday, was declared as second slot winner on the basis of the recently-concluded series in South Africa which Pakistan won 3-1.

“Babar’s superlative form helped him replace India captain Virat Kohli at the top of the ICC men’s ODI player rankings last week and this week’s update sees him make a strong 47-point surge to overtake Australia’s Aaron Finch in the T20I rankings after scoring 122 in the third match,” the ICC stated.

“Though Babar is still 48 points adrift of top-ranked Dawid Malan of England, a three-match series against Zimbabwe from Wednesday presents the 26-year-old with another opportunity to move towards the top spot, which he had occupied till November last year.”

Fakhar Zaman is a similar story as he follows up his progress in the ODI rankings with that in T20Is, gaining 17 slots to reach 33rd position.

Pakistan’s in-form wicket-keeper/batsman Mohammad Rizwan has advanced eight places to reach a career-best 15th position.

Left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi has attained a career best-equaling 11th spot while Faheem Ashraf (up 12 places to 16th), Mohammad Nawaz (up four places to 24th) and Haris Rauf (up 43 places to 38th) have also moved up in the bowlers’ list.

Pakistan’s win in the series against South Africa comes as a morale booster in the year of the ICC men’s T20 World Cup but they remain in fourth position in the ICC men’s T20 team rankings after gaining two points and reaching an aggregate of 262.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2021

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