Babar Azam sits on top of ICC’s ODI batsman rankings

Its official now

DUBAI: In the recent ICC ODI rankings, Pakistani captain Babar Azam has dethroned Indian captain Virat Kohli to become the top-ranked ODI batsman in the world on Wednesday.

Azam now leads the ICC’s ODI batsman rankings with 865 points, while Kohli is second with 857 points.

Babar’s latest rankings put an end to Kohli’s five-year reign atop the ICC rankings. Since October 2017, the Indian captain has been at the top of the league.

After scoring 228 runs in the recently concluded ODI series between Pakistan and South Africa, Pakistan’s captain rocketed to the top of the table.

Former captain Mohammad Yousuf was the last Pakistani to accomplish the feat in 2003.

This is the first time Azam has been ranked as the world’s top ODI batsman.

According to the PCB, Azam is the fourth Pakistan batsman to hit the top of the ODI batting table, after Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, and Mohammad Yousuf.

Former captain Mohammad Yousuf was the last Pakistani to accomplish the feat in 2003.

“I feel blessed 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,” Azam was quoted by the PCB in a statement released minutes after the ICC update.

Azam said that this “milestone would now take much more hard work and total consistency” from him if he is to maintain his place alongside West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards and India’s Kohli.

Azam said, “I have also previously topped the T20I rankings, but the ultimate ambition and goal is to lead the Test rankings, which are the real testament and reward to a batsman’s caliber, reputation, and skills.”

He also added that he comprehends that to achieve his goal, he will “not only have to perform consistently, but more importantly, against the top sides”.

However, Azam said he will “savour the moment as it has come almost 18 months” following his appointment as the white ball captain.

Azam is currently placed at number 6, besides ODI’s, in the ranking for Test matches and number 3 in T20Is.

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