Chance for Babar to regain top spot in T20 rankings

Chance for Babar to regain top spot in T20 rankings

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan captain Babar Azam will be looking to regain the top place in the ICC Twenty20 player rankings, in the upcoming three-match ser­ies against Zimbabwe to be held in Rawalpindi from Saturday.

Babar, who scored 221 runs including a fine 125 in the final match of their ICC World Cup Super League ODI series against Zimbabwe on Tuesday, has been a familiar name at the top of the Twenty20 batting table and was currently the only one in the top five of all three formats, said a press release issued here.

The Pakistan skipper, who has been number one for a total of 774 days in four different stretches since January 2018 and was at the top till September this year, was only eight rating points adrift of Dawid Malan (877 rating points), who leapfrogged him during England’s 2-1 home series win over Australia.

Similarly, Pakistan all-rounder Imad Wasim would be looking to move back towards the top spot for bowlers from his current eighth position in the series.

The left-arm spinner was number one for 146 days in 2017 and 2018.

There are others too in the Pakistan squad who get the opportunity to make their way back up and boost their confidence with just about a year to go for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in India.

Pakistan’s left-handed opener Fakhar Zaman, ranked as high as second in the past, is currently in 22nd place while his team-mate Mohammad Hafeez is in 42nd position with his career-best being ninth position back in 2007.

Among bowlers, leg-spinner Shadab Khan, who is Pakistan vice-captain, would be looking to reclaim his best of second position from ninth place while Faheem Ashraf is in 32nd place but was sixth two years ago.

For Zimbabwe, Sean Williams is ranked 54th among batters and 45th among bowlers but has held better positions in the past. He has been a prominent all-rounder in the format who was ranked second earlier this year and is currently third.

Brendan Taylor (76th), has had a career-high ranking of sixth while Elton Chigumbura is ranked 96th but his career graph reflects a high of 26th.

Pakistan would also be working at moving back towards the top ranking in the T20 team rankings, currently led by Australia with 275 points. England (271), India (266) and Pakistan (261) follow in that order. Zimbabwe were in 11th position with 191 points.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2020

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