Babar Azam breaks into top 10 of ICC ODI rankings for the first time


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan batsman Babar Azam has broken into the top 10 of the ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen for the first time, as he gained five positions to reach the 10th rank.

Babar smashed 100 runs in Adelaide for a total of 282 runs in the series.

His teammate Sharjeel Khan’s 250 runs in the series, which included three half centuries, have lifted him 35 slots to a career-best 53rd rank, said an ICC press release issued here.

Australia opener David Warner has wrested the top spot in the Player Rankings.

Warner, who struck a belligerent 179 off 128 balls to help win the final ODI in Adelaide by 57 runs on Thursday, is aiming to continue with the superb form that has seen him score six centuries in the last 11 ODIs.

The attacking left-hander has attained the top ranking for the first time, leapfrogging South Africa’s AB de Villiers and India captain Virat Kohli after amassing 367 runs in the five-match home series against Pakistan, which his side won 4-1.

In the ICC Players Rankings for ODI Bowlers, Australia pace bowler Mitchell Starc has gained two slots to reach second position after finishing with nine wickets in the series against Pakistan, which included a haul of four for 42 in Adelaide.

Josh Hazlewood has also reached a career-best fifth place after gaining five positions with seven wickets in the series, while England’s Chris Woakes has moved into the top 20 with six wickets against India.

Pakistan could not improve its points position in a bid to qualify directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, even as there was little movement in the team rankings.

Pakistan is in danger of failing to qualify directly for the ICC’s pinnacle 50-over tournament in England, as it is sitting in eighth position on 89 points, two behind Bangladesh and two ahead of the West Indies.

Host England and the seven highest ranked sides on the ICC ODI Team Rankings, as on 30 September 2017, will qualify directly for the event to be held from May 30 to July 15, 2019.

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