PAK v ZIM 2020

Chance for Babar Azam to retain top T20I ranking during Zimbabwe series

The upcoming T20I series against Zimbabwe will provide skipper Babar Azam to regain the top place in the ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings.

The 26-year-old, who scored 221 runs including a fine 125 in the final match of their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League series against Zimbabwe in Rawalpindi on Tuesday, has been a familiar name at the top of the T20I batting table and is currently the only one in the top five of all three formats.

Babar, 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, is only eight rating points adrift of Malan (877 rating points), who leapfrogged him during England’s 2-1 home series win over Australia.

Babar Azam lost the top ranking recently to England’s Dawid Malan.

All-rounder Imad Wasim will be looking to move back towards the top spot for bowlers from his current eighth position. The left-arm spinner, a member of the Pakistan team that won the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2006, 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 Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in India.

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

Among bowlers, leg-spinner Shadab Khan will be looking to move back towards his best of second position from ninth place.

Pakistan will try to move back towards the top ranking in the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings, currently led by Australia with 275 points. England (271), India (266) and Pakistan (261) follow the Aussies in that order. Zimbabwe are in 11th position with 191 points.

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