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T20 internationals: Babar Azam ends 2021 as joint-top batter

Babar regained the throne following a knock of 79 against West Indies in the third and the final T20I
Published 22 Dec, 2021 08:37pm
Babar azam. Source: ICC
Babar azam. Source: ICC

Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar Azam has reclaimed the top spot in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Player Rankings for T20Is.

Babar regained the throne following a knock of 79 against West Indies in the third and the final T20I, the ICC announced on Wednesday.

With scores of 0 and 7 in the first two T20Is against the West Indies, the skipper had dropped two spots to number 3 in last week’s rankings update.

“However, he came roaring back and is now placed at the top of the rankings after a brilliant 79 in the final T20I that helped Pakistan complete a clean sweep over West Indies,” the ICC press release said.

With 805 points each, Babar and England’s Dawid Malan will end the year as the joint No.1 batters in the shortest format.

Six T20 records Mohammad Rizwan broke in 2021

His fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan, who has had a tremendous 2021, capped the year by climbing to number 3 in T20I batters’ rankings with career-best ratings 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.

In the Test rankings, Australia middle-order batter Marnus Labuschagne has climbed to the top of the ICC Test Player Rankings for batters for the very first time after sensational performances in the two matches of the Ashes so far.

With career-best 912 rating points, he goes past Joe Root (897) who drops to the second spot. Ranked fourth before the series, Labuschagne rose two spots to No.2 after scoring 74 in Australia’s win in the Brisbane Test. In the second Test at Adelaide, he scored a hundred and fifty (103 and 51) as Australia routed England by 275 runs to go 2-0 up in the Ashes.

This article was first published in Business Recorder on December 22, 2021.

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