Suryakumar Yadav achieves best-ever ranking, poised to displace Pakistan captain Babar Azam as No.1 T20I batter

Updated on Aug 03, 2022 08:36 PM IST

If things go well in the remaining two T20Is against West Indies, then the Indian right-hander is set to displace Babar as the No.1-ranked batter T20I by the end of India's tour of West Indies. The fact that Pakistan don't have any T20I scheduled till the Asia Cup (starting August 27) is set to go in Suryakumar's favour as Babar won't get an opportunity to improve his rating points.

India's Suryakumar Yadav hits a six against West Indies during the third T20 cricket match at Warner Park in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis(AP)
India's Suryakumar Yadav hits a six against West Indies during the third T20 cricket match at Warner Park in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis(AP)

There may be a few sceptic eyeballs circling over India's decision to open with him in last few games but Suryakumar Yadav has been doing all the right things in the last year or so, especially in T20Is. The biggest proof of his consistency and dominance was the latest ICC T20I rankings released on Wednesday that saw him jump three places to reach the career-best second spot in the list of batters only two rating points behind Pakistan captain Babar Azam. If things go well in the remaining two T20Is against West Indies, then the Indian right-hander is set to displace Babar as the No.1-ranked batter T20I by the end of India's tour of West Indies. The fact that Pakistan don't have any T20I scheduled till the Asia Cup (starting August 27) is set to go in Suryakumar's favour as Babar won't get an opportunity to improve his rating points.

Suryakumar, who was at No.5 at the start of the West Indies series, rose to the second spot thanks to his dazzling 76 off 44 balls in the third T20I against West Indies in St Kitts on Tuesday. Babar currently leads the pack with 818 rating points. His teammate Mohammad Rizwan is at the third spot with 798 points.

Suryakumar had jumped a whopping 44 places after smashing his maiden T20I hundred against England and he has continued his form ever since.

He has had a dream start to his T20I career. In only 22 matches, he has turned himself into an indispensable part of the Indian batting unit in the shortest format of the game. Suryakumar has scored 648 runs in 22 T20Is which is the second-most by an Indian after playing the same number of matches. He is only behind KL Rahul, who had scored 755. But Suryakumar's strike rate of 175.6 is the best among all Indians after first 20 innings. Rahul's was 152.5.

In the bowlers' rankings, South Africa's Tabraiz Shamsi jumped to the second spot after a superb series against England. Shamsi, who was top-ranked for most of the period from April to October last year, has advanced one slot to take the second position but remains 64 rating points adrift of top-ranked Josh Hazlewood, who is on 792 rating points. The left-arm wrist-spinner's eight wickets, which included a match-winning five for 24 in the final match, helped win the series against England 2-1 and gain 19 rating points.

In the ODI rankings, India opener Shikhar Dhawan has moved up one slot to 12th position after getting a half-century in the last match of their ODI series in the West Indies. India bowlers Yuzvendra Chahal (16th) and Shardul Thakur (72nd) have also gained in the latest update while West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran is up two places to 30th.

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