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Babar Azam ends Virat Kohli’s four-year stay at top as Number one ODI batsman

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Babar Azam has dethroned Kohli to become the No.1 ODI batsman

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Babar Azam ends Virat Kohli’s four-year stay at top as Number one ODI batsman

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SportsCafe Desk

04/14/2021

Babar Azam has become the first batsman not named Virat Kohli to be ranked the Number one ODI batsman since October 2017 as on Wednesday, the Pakistan skipper reached the top of the batsman’s rankings. Azam’s 94 in the 3rd ODI vs SA meant that his last 5 ODI scores read 94, 31, 103, 125 and 77*.

Babar Azam has created history as the Pakistan skipper has officially become the first Pakistan batsman in 18 years - since Mohammad Yousuf in 2003 - to be the top ranked batsman in ODI cricket. On Wednesday, April 7, in Centurion, Azam’s 94 in the decider against South Africa took his series-tally to 228 runs and the remarkable outing has now seen him surge to the top of the batsman’s rankings in ODI cricket.

Azam has toppled Virat Kohli, who enjoyed an ordinary series - by his standards - versus England, meaning the Indian skipper will find himself at a position outside No.1 for the first time in four years. The Pakistan skipper (865 points) is now eight points clear of Kohli, who himself is 32 points clear of the third-placed Rohit Sharma (825).

The other big mover in the batsman’s rankings is another Pakistan batsman, Fakhar Zaman, who has broken into the Top 10 after striking back-to-back centuries. Zaman followed his 193 in Johannesburg up with a 101 in Centurion, and the back-to-back tons have seen the opener surge to seventh spot, level on points with Faf du Plessis (778). David Warner, who last played an ODI in December 2020, has seen himself slip to 9th spot, while Quinton De Kock (756) and Kane Williamson (754) have dropped to 11th and 12th spots respectively. 

Jasprit Bumrah, placed at 4th, remains the only Indian bowler in the Top 10 of the ODI rankings, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, placed 12th, being the second highest ranked Indian bowler. Ravindra Jadeja, placed 9th, meanwhile, is the only Indian in the Top 10 of the all-rounder's rankings. 

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