Babar Azam Dethrones Kohli After Over 3-Year Reign As No.1 ODI Batsman

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India captain Virat Kohli’s long reign at the top of the ICC rankings for batsmen was on Wednesday brought to an end by his Pakistan counterpart Babar Azam, who became only the fourth from his country to attain the position. The 26-year-old right-hander’s player of the match effort of an 82-ball 94 in the last game of the series against South Africa in Centurion helped him gain 13 rating points to reach 865 points. He now leads the Indian captain by eight points, the ICC said in a statement.

Babar, a star of the Under-19 World Cups in 2010 and 2012 and who has been playing ODIs since 2015, had started the series against South Africa at 837 rating points but moved up to 858 (ahead of Kohli) after his score of 103 in the first match.

He dropped to 852 by the time of the last weekly rankings update with a score of 32 in the second ODI.

By ending Kohli’s 1,258 day-supremacy, which adds up to over three years, Babar has emulated compatriots Zaheer Abbas (1983-84), Javed Miandad (1988-89), and Mohammad Yousuf (2003) as the number one ODI batsman.

In Tests, Babar has attained a best of fifth position and is currently ranked sixth while in T20Is he is third but has been number one in the past.

Left-handed opener Fakhar Zaman is another Pakistan batsman to move up the ODI batting charts, gaining five slots to reach a career-best seventh position after his knock of 101.

Left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi (up four places to a career-best 11th) and left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (up 29 places to 96th) have progressed, thanks to their three-wicket hauls in the match.

Kohli’s deputy, Rohit Sharma has maintained his second spot with 825 points ahead of New Zealand’s Ross Taylor. No other Indian features in the latest top 10 batting chart.

Among bowlers, Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah has held on to his fourth position behind top-ranked Trent Boult of New Zealand, Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman and another Kiwi pacer Matt Henry.

Promoted

Ravichandran Ashwin is the lone Indian to find a place in the top 10 all-rounders’ list at the number nine spot.

Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan leads the pack ahead of injured England all-rounder Ben Stokes and Afghanistan”s Mohammad Nabi.

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