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ICC T20I Rankings: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam moves to 2nd position

April 21, 2021

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Pakistan skipper Babar Azam progressed one spot to reach the second position in the ICC men's T20I player rankings. However, Babar is still 48 points behind top-ranked England batsman Dawid Malan. A three-match series against Zimbabwe from Wednesday could be the best chance for Babar Azam to move towards the top spot. He had occupied the top place in November last year. On the other end, his excellent form had helped him replace Indian skipper Virat Kohli at the top of the men's ODI player rankings the previous week. 

With 865 points, Babar Azam is the new No. 1 ODI batsman, followed by Indian batsmen Virat Kohli (857 points) and Rohit Sharma (825 points). The Pakistani skipper was the second-highest getter in the recently concluded South Africa series with 228 runs. He is only behind Fakhar Zaman, who scored 302 runs. Babar's 82-ball 94 in the last game of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League against SA has helped the batsman obtain 13 rating points to move past Virat Kohli.

Ahead of the South Africa series, Babar Azam was at 837 points. He has now progressed to 858 points following his 103-run innings in the first match of the series. However, in the second match, he dropped down to 852 points as he managed to score just 32 runs. With a 94-run knock in the third encounter, Babar once again grabbed 13 points and surpassed the Indian skipper to become the No. 1 batsman when the latest rankings were declared.

Pakistan remains in the fourth position in the ICC Men's T20I Team Rankings

Mohammad Rizwan has also advanced to career-best 15th position in the T20I batting rankings. Shaheen Afridi has attained 11th spot, whereas Faheem Ashraf has moved to 16th spot. Talking about the bowlers, Mohammad Nawaz (up to four places to 24th) and Haris Rauf (up 43 places to 38th) have also moved up in the list. For South Africa, Rassie van der Dussen has progressed three slots to the sixth position in the rankings. Aiden Markram moved up 31 places to 34th, and Janneman Malan advances to 73rd. 

Pakistan's 3-1 victory in the series against South Africa comes as a morale booster. However, Pakistan remains in the fourth position in the ICC Men's T20I Team Rankings after gaining two points and reaching an aggregate of 262. South Africa is presently at the 6th spot in the rankings. 

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