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Babar Azam returns to the top of ICC Men’s ODI Batting Rankings

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DUBAI: Former Pakistan captain and star batter Babar Azam on Wednesday, reclaimed the coveted top spot in the ICC Men’s ODI Batting Rankings, dethroning India’s batting prodigy Shubman Gill.

Gill, who ended Babar Azam’s more than two-year reign as the top-ranked ODI batter in November, has only played three ODIs since then.

His last ODI appearance, which came in the ICC World Cup 2023 final against Australia, was forgetful as he fell for a mere four.

Gill was then rested from India’s three-match away ODI series against South Africa, causing him to lose crucial rating points.

As a result, star Pakistan batter Babar Azam leapfrogged him in the rankings by achieving superior rating points (824), 14 clear of Shubman Gill.

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Gill is closely followed by his compatriot Virat Kohli, who holds the third spot in the ICC Men’s ODI Batting Rankings with 775 rating points.

Meanwhile, in T20Is, England’s leg-spinner Adil Rashid climbed two places to replace Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan from the summit and India’s Ravis Bishnoi, who slipped to third.

Rashid becomes only the second Englishman to hold the No.1 ranking for T20I bowlers after legendary off-spinner Graeme Swann held the top spot back more than a decade ago.

Suryakumar Yadav extended his lead at the top to a total of 100 rating points at the back of his brisk century in the third T20I against South Africa, while Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan (second) and South Africa’s Aiden Markram (third) his closest rivals.

The ICC Test Rankings also saw major shake-ups following Australia’s thumping 260-run victory over Pakistan in the Perth Test.

Australian opener Usman Khawaja jumped three places to claim the fourth spot, went past Babar Azam at third, and also moved within touching distance to top-ranked Kiwi Kane Williamson.

His teammates David Warner (up nine spots to 27th) and Mitchell Marsh (improves 12 places to equal 68th) also make some ground after impressive knocks against Pakistan.

Australian bowlers also got the reward of their magnificent performances against Pakistan in the first Test with Pat Cummins (up one place to third), Nathan Lyon (up three spots to fifth), Mitchell Starc (up two places to eighth) and Josh Hazlewood (up two spots to 10th) all making ground inside the Top 10 but India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin continues to hold sway at the top.

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