[UAE]: Pakistani cricketer Babar Azam has reclaimed the number-one ranking in the International Cricket Council (ICC) men’s player rankings for T20I batsmen for the third time this year after hitting two half-centuries in Pakistan’s 3-0 win over Australia in a recently-concluded series.
The series result means Pakistan cannot be displaced from the top spot, irrespective of the outcome of their upcoming series against New Zealand as well as the one between India and West Indies.
Babar’s series aggregate of 163 runs with a strike-rate of a little over 117 has helped him leapfrog Australia captain Aaron Finch, Lokesh Rahul of India and New Zealand’s Colin Munro into the coveted number-one position.
He now leads second-ranked Finch by five points after the Australian started the series with a commanding 126 point lead over the Pakistani. From this series, Babar earned 79 points while Finch conceded 52 points.
The right-hand batsman, who captained Pakistan at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2012, had topped the batting charts for the first time in his career in January following the series against New Zealand. He then regained the top spot following the home series against the West Indies in April. Both the times, he lost the number one ranking to Finch.
Another batsman to make an impact in the top-20 is Jason Roy of England. The opener scored 69 in the only T20I against Sri Lanka, which has helped him to rise five places to a career-high ninth position.
In ICC men’s player rankings for T20I bowlers, England’s wrist spinner Adil Rashid and Australia fast bowler Billy Stanlake have achieved career-high rankings, while Pakistan’s Imad Wasim has also made a return to the top ten.
Rashid took three wickets for 11 in Sri Lanka, which has helped him rise four places to fifth, while Stanlake took five wickets in two appearances that lifted him nine places to become his country’s highest-ranked bowler in ninth position.
Imad has been rewarded for his four wickets with a gain of 14 places that has put him in 10th position.
Outside the top ten, Pakistan’s Faheem Ashraf has jumped 18 places to a career-best 16th ranking, Hasan Ali has risen eight places to a career-high 21st position and Adam Zampa has moved up 20 places to claim the 22nd position.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s 3-0 series win means they will remain the number-one ranked side, irrespective of how their upcoming series against fifth-ranked New Zealand and the three-match series between second-ranked India and seventh-ranked West Indies pan out.
The 3-0 win has earned Pakistan four points, which have lifted them to 136 points, while Australia have dropped five points and are now on 118 points, just ahead of England on decimal points.
Even if New Zealand and India win all their upcoming T20Is, Pakistan (130) will continue to lead India (127) by three points. However, this result will help New Zealand move ahead of England and Australia in the third position.
In contrast, if Pakistan and West Indies win all their matches, Pakistan will rise to 138 points and only one point will separate second-ranked India (119) from fourth-ranked Australia (118).