Pakistan batsman Babar Azam broke into the top 10 of ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen on Friday after amassing 282 runs in the five-ODI series against Australia Down Under.
The 22-year-old impressed with his incredible footwork and hand-eye coordination as he put up a fifty and a century on the tour. He was the first Pakistan batsman to score an ODI century in Australia in more than three decades. Legendary Zaheer Abbas was the last Pakistan batsman to enter triple digits in a 50-over international contest in 1981 at Sydney.
His 100 off 109 in the final ODI at Adelaide on Thursday went in vain as Pakistan lost the contest by 57 runs and handed a 4-1 series win to the hosts. But the innings saw him jump five places to number 10 in the ODI batsmen rankings.
Azam made his Pakistan debut in May 2015 during Zimbabwe’s tour of Pakistan. He has since played 33 international matches.
Australia’s David Warner seized the number one spot in the ODI batsmen rankings for the first time. He leapfrogged India’s Virat Kohli and South Africa’s AB De Villiers after he scored a scintillating 179 from 128 balls in the final ODI. This was his second century in a row.
After achieving the top spot, Warner told icc-cricket.com: “It is always a great honour and very nice to receive these accolades but from my perspective my job is to put our team into winning positions and I have been fortunate that I have been able to do that lately.
“It is a huge year for one-day cricket with the ICC Champions Trophy later this year and I am hoping I can take my good form into that tournament and help Australia lift the trophy for the third time.”