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Dawid Malan dethrones Babar Azam to become top-ranked T20I batsman
ICC Rankings

Dawid Malan dethrones Babar Azam to become top-ranked T20I batsman

Dawid Malan has jumped four positions in the ICC rankings to displace Babar Azam as the world number one batsman in T20Is.

The 33-year-old's rapid progression has come at the back of a prolific run in the recently completed T20I series against Australia where he was the leading run-getter across both teams.

Malan's impressive run aggregate of 129 included a splendid player of the match effort of 66 in the first fixture at Southampton.

The Yorkshire star, who made his debut in 2017, has steadily grown as one of England's most consistent players in the shortest format. Malan averages an astonishing 48.71 in 16 T20Is with seven fifties and a career-best score of 103 not out to his name.

His previous best ranking was second in November last year and now commands a lead of eight rating points ahead of Pakistan's white-ball captain Babar.

25-year-old Babar dominated the rankings for almost two years as he managed to rule the roster unchallenged after claiming the No. 1 spot in October 2018.

"Obviously his form in T20 as it stands is phenomenal and it seems to keep getting better the more he bats," said England coach Chris Silverwood regarding Malan's advancement in the rankings.

"It's good to watch him. He's worked hard to get into the team and when he's got his opportunity he's taken it, which is superb. His record is brilliant at the moment, good on him."

Among England batsmen, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow have also moved up embodying their abundant batting talent.

Buttler has vaulted 12 places to the 28th position after putting up a stellar display in the opening role during the first two games against Australia. He was unavailable for the third T20I on Tuesday due to personal reasons and could not add more runs to his tally of 121 in two innings.

Bairstow's struggles abated in the final T20I as he contributed with 55 and has gone up three spots to No. 19.

England leg-spinner Adil Rashid was the standout bowler in the series and has gained two places to slot in at number seven. Australia's Adam Zampa has been demoted to No. 5 whereas his spin bowling partner Ashton Agar has retained his status as the third-best bowler.

Meanwhile, pacer Kane Richardson has broken into the top 10 for the first time in his career as he played an important role in Australia's consolation win against England that allowed them to be back at the top of the pile.