Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam leapfrogged Virat Kohli to acquire the number one spot in ICC ODI rankings for batsmen. This also put an end to Kohli’s streak of being the number one ranked ODI batsman for as many as 1,258 days from 2017 to 2021. Babar is placed at the top spot with 865 points under his belt while Virat dropped to the second position with 857 points. The third place in the rankings is acquired by India’s limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma with 825 points.
Notably, Babar Azam is only the fourth Pakistan batsman to be positioned at number one in ODI batsmen rankings. Before Azam, Zaheer Abbas (1983-84), Javed Miandad (1988-89), and Mohammad Yousuf (2003) were ranked No. 1 ODI batsmen in the world.
The Pakistan captain made a huge jump in the One Day batsmen rankings owing to his stunning performance in the three-match ODI series against South Africa. Featuring in all the three One Day Internationals, Azam scored 228 runs at an average of 78 to propel Pakistan to a 2-1 series victory. Babar also ended up as the second-highest run-scorer in the series after Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman.
Virat Kohli, on the other hand, is currently plying his trade for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the in IPL 2021. The batting maestro last featured in an ODI series against England in March, which India won 2-1. Kohli experienced a decent outing in the ODI series as he ended up with 129 runs across three games at an average of 43.
Apart from Babar Azam, the highest run-getter in the ODI series against South Africa, Fakhar Zaman also made a huge jump in the rankings as he climbed to seventh position from the 12th spot. Zaman ended the series with 302 runs to his name from three games at an average of 100.67