Babar Azam overtakes Virat Kohli to become No. 1 ODI Batsman

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Babar Azam holding the winning Trophy for PakvsSA

Following a fantastic spell in the ongoing series versus South Africa, Pakistan captain Babar Azam has become the No. 1 ODI batsman to end Kohli’s reign. 

  • Babar Azam reaches the top of ICC’s ODI batsman rankings with 865 points and Virat Kohli is number 2 with 857 points.
  • The Pakistan skipper launched to the top of the table after scoring 228 runs in the newly settled ODI series between Pakistan and South Africa. 
  • Babar with the move ends Virat Kohli’s five-year domination at the top of ICC ODI rankings. 

Pakistan cricket captain Babar Azam on Wednesday became the No. 1 ODI batsman, succeeding Indian skipper Virat Kohli. While Kohli is currently captaining the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, Babar is leading Pakistan in a bilateral series against South Africa. With 865 points, Babar is the new No. 1 ODI batsman followed by Kohli (857 points) and Rohit Sharma (825 points).

Azam made a complete of 228 runs in Pakistan’s famous series win against South Africa, including a century within the first match in Centurion. That helped him move past Kohli – who has been No. 1 since displacing AB de Villiers in October 2017 – by a degree, but he dropped to 852 after his score of 31 within the second ODI and remained at No. 2 by the time of the last weekly rankings update. After his knock during the third ODI, he gained eight points passed Kohli, to became just the fourth Pakistan batsman to achieve the highest ranking after Zaheer Abbas (1983-84), Javed Miandad (1988-89), and Mohammad Yousuf (2003).

“This is another milestone in my career, which will now require even more hard work and absolute consistency with the bat in order for me to hold on to the ranking for an extended period of time,” Azam was cited by the PCB in a statement released minutes after the ICC update.

“I feel privileged and honored to have joined the company of stalwarts like Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, and Mohammad Yousuf, who will always be the shining stars of Pakistan cricket. I have also previously topped the T20I rankings, but the ultimate ambition and goal are to lead the Test rankings, which are the real testament and reward to a batsman’s caliber, reputation, and skills.”

Read MoreBabar Azam assured to overhaul Virat Kohli as World No 1 ODI batsman

Apart from ODI’s, Azam is currently set at no. 6 in the ranking for Test matches and no. 3 in T20Is.

Shaheen, Fakhar reach new heights in ODI rankings:

Fakhar Zaman joined the top 10 of the ODI rankings and fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi is on the verge of entering the bowlers’ top ten.

Zaman is currently ranked seven after his back-to-back centuries against South Africa in the last two ODIs of the series.

In the last update, the southpaw had jumped seven places and reached the 12th position.

He had increased within the rankings after his compelling round of 193 runs against South Africa within the second game of the three-match ODI series at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

Zaman protected his 193-run innings with a 101 off 104 balls within the third ODI. He shares the seventh position with South Africa’s Faf du Plessis.

On the opposite hand, rising pacer Afridi also made gains within the rankings. he’s on the cusp of entering the highest 10 of the ODI bowling rankings.

Afridi’s six wickets in three matches at a mean of 32.33 helped him reach the amount 11 positions within the bowlers’ rankings.