Babar tops Twenty20 International rankings


Pakistan batsman Babar Azam and New Zealand left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner have been rewarded for strong performances in the two sides’ recent T20I series.

Babar Azam and Santner have topped the ICC Player Rankings for T20I Batsmen and Bowlers respectively, following the conclusion of their series which the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 champions won 2-1.

The Pakistan batsman was rewarded for finishing as the leading run-scorer in the series (109 runs) with a rise of 11 places that has put him on top for the first time. He now leads Australia’s Aaron Finch (784 points) by two points.

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Babar is the second Pakistan batsman to top the T20I rankings after Misbah-ul-Haq, who had climbed to number-one spot in 2009.

New Zealand’s Colin Munro, who had started the series in number-one position, has slipped to fourth after scoring 50 runs in the two matches he played.

Pakistan’s Ahmed Shehzad has moved up two places to 25th and is his side’s second highest-ranked batsman in the shortest format, but captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and Fakhar Zaman are the biggest movers in the latest rankings.

Sarfaraz’s series contribution of 79 runs has lifted him from 76th position to 55th, while Fakhar has claimed the 71st spot after rising 41 places following his series aggregate of 99 runs.

In the bowlers’ table, Santner has replaced team-mate Ish Sodhi as the top-ranked bowler. The left-arm spinner picked up four wickets and now leads Afghanistan’s number-two ranked spinner Rashid Khan by one point.

Sodhi has dropped two places to third, six points behind Santner, after managing two wickets in the series.

Santner is the fourth New Zealand bowler after Daniel Vettori, Shane Bond and Sodhi to claim the coveted number-one position.

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Pakistan’s Shadab Khan, who was the most successful bowler in the series with five wickets, has rocketed 28 places to 14th spot, while fast bowler Mohammad Amir has also made an impressive gain of 19 places and now sits in 27th position after bagging three wickets.

Other significant movers include Tim Southee (53rd, up by 17 places), Rumman Raees (92nd, up by 33 places) and Faheem Ashraf (102nd, up by 31 places).

There is no change in the all-rounders’ list, which is still headed by Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh, with Glenn Maxwell of Australia in second spot.