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LAHORE: Wicket keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan’s Most Valuable Cricketer of 2021, has become the number-one ranked T20I batter for the first time in his career, leapfrogging his captain and No.1 ranked ODI batter Babar Azam.

Rizwan (796 points) was trailing Babar (810 points) when the ICC Player Rankings for T20I Batters were announced last Wednesday. However, following scores of 78 not out (against Hong Kong) and 71 (against India), Rizwan gained 19 points, whereas Babar lost 16 points after managing 9 and 14 in the same matches.

As such, Rizwan now sits on 815 points, while Babar is now on 794. However, this could change over the coming days, depending how the two batters perform against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, and, in the final, if Pakistan qualifies.

In the bowlers list, Shadab Khan has swapped places with fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is not participating in the tournament. Shadab has moved up to 14th, while Shaheen has slipped to 15th. Mohammad Nawaz is the Pakistan bowler to make a serious impact on the latest rankings by jumping 16 places to 41st.

Amongst the all-rounders, Shadab Khan has slipped one place to 34th, while Nawaz has moved up 38 places to 60. The next T20I player rankings will be updated on September 14.

In the ICC T20I Team Rankings, Pakistan are tied with England on 262 points but are ranked third when the points are calculated beyond the decimal point. However, if Pakistan beat Afghanistan on Wednesday evening in Sharjah, they will move ahead of England in second place by a fraction of a point.

Another win on Friday against Sri Lanka in Dubai will give Pakistan sole possession of second place on 262 points. India lead the T20I team rankings with 268 points. South Africa are fourth on 258 points, followed by New Zealand (252), Australia (250), West Indies (241) and Sri Lanka (234).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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