Pakistan’s Babar Azam on top of ICC T20 rankings

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Staff Report

Dubai – Pakistan’s top-order batsman Babar Azam, who helped propel Pakistan to the top spot in T20s, climbed on top of the latest T20 rankings for batsmen released by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday.

Azam scored 109 runs in the recent series against New Zealand, including an unbeaten 50 in the second game, which Pakistan clinched 2-1, beating the home side convincingly in the decider on Sunday.

The star batsman averages 48 with a strike rate of 123 in the game’s shortest international format. Pakistan are currently ranked number six in ODIs and seventh in Tests.

Pakistan surpassed New Zealand in the rankings to come out on top after being thrashed 5-0 in the ODI series. The Kiwis are now ranked second with India on number three.

Azam is on the top of the batsmen’s ranking with 786 rating points, followed by Australia’s Aaron Finch and Indian skipper Virat Kohli. None of the other Pakistan batsmen managed to make it to the top 20.

Azam is also ranked fifth in the ODI batsmen’s ranking, while Champions Trophy hero Hassan Ali is fifth in the bowlers’ rankings of the 50-over format.

The only two Pakistan bowlers who managed a position in the top 20 bowlers rankings in the T20s are Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan, placed at seven and 14 respectively. Afghan spin sensation Rashid Khan is number two in the rankings, topped by New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan is the top T20 all-rounder with veterans Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez the only Pakistanis in top 20 — on number 12 and 15 respectively.