Pakistan Cricket Team’s skipper Babar Azam, who is the world’s number one T20I and ODI batter, has been put in a situation to lose his long-standing spot in the shortest format. The right-handed batter is in tough competition with the Indian batsman, Suryakumar Yadav, who is left just two ratings behind Azam, being the second-ranked batter.
Mentioning the context of the story, Yadav’s blistering 76 in the third T20I versus the West Indies has triggered his ranking. Also, thanks to his century against England last month in Nottingham. He has overpowered Azam’s counterpart Mohammad Rizwan to become the second-ranked T20I batsman and now needs two more ratings to his 816, to cross Azam’s 818. His chances to do so are brighter with two more Ind vs WI T20I remaining.
Pakistan’s all-format captain first became the number one T20I batter in January 2018 following the series against New Zealand and re-occupied the position following the home series against West Indies in April of the same year. Babar, undoubtedly the great batter of modern-day cricket, once again became the world’s number one T20I batter in the same year, clinching the spot for the third time in 2018 after Pakistan’s 3-0 win versus Australia.
He has held the record of being the world’s number one T20I batter six times during his tenure. Azam’s latest ranking was garnished during the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 as he again clutched the place where he belongs to. The 27-year-old dethroned Dawid Malan to become the world’s number one T20I batter once again. Alongside having an excellent campaign as a team, Azam individually inspired the watchers with his bat.
As far as the term ‘long-standing world’s number one T20I batter’ is concerned, it must be elaborated that the Pakistani captain surpassed India’s ex-captain, Virat Kohli’s record. Kohli stayed in the post for 1013 days, whereas the number one ODI batter has been carrying the spot on and off for more than 1030 days. The next in the lane is England’s Kevin Pieterson, who stayed in the record for 729 days.
However’s Azam’s top position might soon come to an end with another update in the ICC rankings, in case India’s Suryakumar Yadav hits decent scores in the next two T20Is against the West Indies. It must be noted that Babar Azam is the only cricketer to occur in the top 3 rankings for batsmen across all formats.