Babar Azam

Babar Azam has reclaimed the number-one ranking in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Player Rankings for T20I Batsmen for the third time this year after hitting two half-centuries in Pakistan’s 3-0 series win over Australia.

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 the Windies.

Babar’s series aggregate of 163 runs with a strike-rate of a little over 117 has helped him leapfrog Australia captain Aaron Finch, who managed just four runs in three matches, Lokesh Rahul of India and New Zealand’s Colin Munro into the coveted number-one position.

Babar now leads second-ranked Finch by five points after the Australian started the series with a commanding 126 points lead over the Pakistani. From this series, Babar earned 79 points while Finch conceded 52 points.

Babar, 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 Windies in April. Both the times, he lost the No.1 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 the MRF Tyres 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-10.

Rashid took three for 11 in Sri Lanka, which has helped him rise four places to fifth, while Stanlake took five wickets in two appearances that have 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-10, 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 Windies pan out.

The 3-0 win has earned Pakistan four points, which have lifted them to 136 points, while Australia has 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 the Windies 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). In this scenario, the reigning ICC Men’s World T20 champions will jump from 106 points to fifth on 114 points.


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