Josh Hazlewood takes top spot in ICC T20I bowling rankings

Josh Hazlewood takes top spot in ICC T20I bowling rankings

Josh Hazlewood finished the Sri Lanka T20Is with six wickets to his name.

Josh Hazlewood
Josh Hazlewood. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood has now emerged as a formidable f0rce in the shortest format as he has now claimed the top spot in the latest ICC Men’s T20I Bowlers’ rankings. He has now jumped two places with a rating of 792. The tall speedster has made an advancement courtesy of his recent performances in the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka, where he finished with six wickets to his name.

Hazlewood’s remarkable performances with the ball in hand in the island nation helped him get past South African spinner Tabraiz Shamsi and England leggie Adil Rashid respectively. While Shamsi dropped two places to the third position with a rating of 733, Adil now holds the second spot with a rating of 746.

Josh Hazlewood’s emergence as a T20I pacer

It is to be noted that Josh Hazlewood made his T20I debut way back in 2013. However, he was always in and out of the Australian squad and was only considered for their Test and ODI fixtures. Moreover, the 31-year-old did not play any T20I cricket for the Aussies for more than four years i.e. from 2016 to 2020.

At the same time, it should also be noted that prior to Josh Hazlewood, former Australian left-arm pacer Nathan Bracken was the last bowler from the country to occupy the top position in T20Is which happened to be way back in 2008.

While the star pacer has performed really well in the last two editions of the IPL for the Chennai Super Kings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively, it was during the T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE that he started peaking in international T20s. Hazlewood finished as the joint fourth-highest wicket-taker of the tournament, having registered 11 scalps to his name. Australia went on to win their maiden T20 World Cup beating New Zealand in the final.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan spin sensation Rashid Khan (709) and Aussie leggie Adam Zampa (698) take the fourth and fifth positions respectively. The sixth, seventh, and eighth spots are occupied by South African pacer Anrich Nortje (672) and the Sri Lankan duo of Wanindu Hasaranga (668) and Maheesh Theekshana (647). Australia’s Ashton Agar (640) and Bangladesh’s Nasum Ahmed (637) complete the bowlers’ rankings.