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Babar Azam attains career-best ICC ODI ranking, gains 16-point lead on Virat Kohli

Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Indian captain Virat Kohli. — File photo
  • Babar Azam reaches a career-best 873 rating points.
  • The Pakistani skipper is 16 points ahead of India’s Virat Kohli.
  • India’s Rohit Sharma is third in the ICC Men’s ranking.

Pakistani skipper Babar Azam has taken the lead in the International Cricket Council’s Men’s ODI Batting Rankings, surpassing India’s captain Virat Kohli, after his stellar performance against England at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Pakistan captain — who struck a fine 158 in the final match of the series — has gained eight rating points to reach a career-best 873 rating points, 16 more than Kohli, who is in second place.

India’s Rohit Sharma is third in the ICC Men’s ranking with 825 rating points, New Zealand’s Ross Taylor is in fourth with 801 rating points, while Australia’s Aaron Finch ranks fifth with 791 rating points.

International Cricket Councils Mens ODI Batting Rankings. — ICC
International Cricket Council’s Men’s ODI Batting Rankings. — ICC

Although England were able to sweep the ODI series 3-0, Azam’s 158 helped his team put up a fighting score against the English.

Azam smashed four shots over the fence for a maximum and stroked 14 boundaries in his 139-balls innings that also brought his 14th ODI hundred — in his 81st innings — to make him the quickest to reach the milestone of 14 ODI centuries.

This was also Babar’s 3rd ODI hundred on the English soil, making him the first Pakistani to do so. Saeed Anwar, Fakhar Zaman, and Imam ul Haq had scored two ODI hundreds apiece. Babar was already the first Pakistani to score 1,000 runs on English soil.

The 158-run score was the highest ever by a Pakistani captain in an ODI surpassing Shoaib Malik’s 125* against India in Karachi in 2008. This was also the highest by any Pakistani player on English soil, beating the previous best by Imam ul Haq who had scored an individual inning of 151.