Dubai: A stellar performance in the three-match Twenty20 International series against the Windies on home soil has catapulted Babar Azam to the top spot in the latest MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings for batsmen, which were released on Wednesday April 4.
Azam's 165 runs - at a strike rate of 148.64 helped him jump two positions on the chart and replace Colin Munro as the top-ranked batsman in the shortest format of the game.
This is the second time in his short career that the 23-year-old Pakistani batsman has topped the T20I batting list, having first reached the pinnacle in January this year.
Awarded Player of the Series, Azam was instrumental in providing his side with consistent starts at the top of the order, which helped Pakistan complete a 3-0 sweep over the Windies and consolidate their position at the top of the team rankings in the absence of any other T20I fixtures.
Shadab Khan also made significant gains in the rankings. His five wickets in the three matches with a miserly economy of 5.72 saw him jump 10 places to No.2 among the bowlers.
The 19-year-old leg-spinner, who debuted only in March 2017, has made quite a splash on the international circuit, and now sits just behind Rashid Khan on the table.
An interesting thing to note is that the top five bowlers in the T20I rankings table are all wrist-spinners, highlighting their importance in the game's shortest format. In fact, out of the top 15, as many as 11 are spinners.
Mohammad Amir also had a stunning T20I series where he picked up five wickets in the two games he played. What impressed most was his economy of 4.16 and strike rate of 7.2, which made him a vital cog in the home side’s wheel. His performances helped him climb 15 spots to No.12 among bowlers.
Away from the top few, Fakhar Zaman, Azam's opening partner in the Windies series, rose 15 places to move to No.50 among batsmen following some blazing starts. He scored 85 in the three games at a strike rate of 180.85.
ICC T20I rankings - Batting
ICC T20I rankings - Bowling
ICC T20I rankings - All-rounders