Babar Azam Ends 2021 As No.1 Ranked T20I Batter

DUBAI: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has again reclaimed the top spot in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20 International (T20I) Batting Rankings, a week after slipping to second place behind Englishman David Malan.

After the latest update by the ICC, Azam now shares the number one rank with Malan, both having a rating of 805 points.

"With scores of 0 and 7 in the first two T20Is against the West Indies, Babar dropped two spots to number three in last week's rankings update," the ICC statement said.

"He came roaring back and is now tied at the top of the rankings with Dawid Malan after a brilliant 79 in the final T20I that helped Pakistan complete a clean sweep over West Indies," it added.

Babar is now at the top in the men's T20I and One-Day International (ODI) rankings going into the final nine days of the year, the ICC said in a write-up on the batsman's "stellar" year.

Babar overtook Indian captain Virat Kohli to become the number one-ranked ODI batsman in the world in April. He followed that up by usurping another record from Kohli, becoming the fastest cricket player to reach the milestone of 2,000 runs in the T20I format, having accomplished the feat in just 52 innings compared to Kohli's 56.

Later in May, Azam was voted the ICC's Men’s Player of the Month for April 2021.

Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan — who is the only batsman to have crossed the 1,000-run mark in T20Is in a calendar year — has climbed to the third spot with a career-best rating of 798.

"Rizwan was the Player of the Match in the final T20I against West Indies, helping his side chase 208 in less than 19 overs with a brilliant 45-ball 87," the ICC said.

Australia's Marnus Labuschagne topped the ICC Test player rankings for the very first time after "sensational performances" during the ongoing Ashes.

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