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HomeSportsRiding on T20 World Cup batting success, Babar Azam climbs to No.1...

Riding on T20 World Cup batting success, Babar Azam climbs to No.1 in ICC rankings

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has climbed to the No.1 spot on the ICC Men’s T20I batting rankings, with Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga atop with the ball for the first time in his career.

Azam, who was previously at the top of the ranking in January 2018, has played a key role in Pakistan’s ICC T20 World Cup campaign, making 198 runs across four innings, averaging 66 at a strike rate of 124.52.

Sitting in second in last week’s rankings, he moved up 14 points (to 834), pushing past England’s Dawid Malan, who slid from 831 to 798.

Pakistan have made the perfect start to the tournament, winning their first four games in style with Babar at the helm.

Elsewhere in the batting rankings, England’s wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler made a jump of eight spots to ninth off the back of his 214 runs in UAE — the most across the tournament. Australian skipper Aaron Finch (733 points) has moved up three places to third.

Other big climbers with the bat include Jason Roy (up five places to 14th), David Miller moving up six places to 33rd, and South African captain Temba Bavuma, leaping 35 spots to 52nd on the list.

There was also a change at the top of the T20I bowling rankings, with Wanindu Hasaranga overtaking Group 1 tournament rival Tabraiz Shamsi of South Africa.

Taking 14 wickets in Sri Lanka’s seven T20 World Cup matches thus far, Hasaranga claimed a hat-trick against South Africa, doing his damage at an economy of just 5.26. Other big movers include South Africa’s Anrich Nortje (up 18 spots to 7th), teammate Dwaine Pretorius (up 65 spots to 34th) and Shoriful Islam of Bangladesh, leaping 77 places to 38th.

The closest rival to Hasaranga’s tournament-leading haul is Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, who will miss the rest of the tournament through injury. For now, Shakib still sits atop in the all-rounder rankings, though shares the spot on the podium with Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi. Hasaranga, also making contributions with the bat, has climbed to fourth.

Liam Livingstone’s bowling impact for England has led to a 57-place jump, with Namibia’s David Wiese (up 22 places to 18th) on a quest to join teammate JJ Smit (3rd) in the top-10.

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