‘You know how much Virat loves chasing?’ – Wasim Jaffer after Babar Azam becomes new No.1 ODI batsman
Azam’s match-winning knock in the last ODI against South Africa helped him gain 13 points in the rankings to reach a career-best 865.
Updated - Apr 14, 2021 8:02 pm
Pakistan captain Babar Azam has surpassed Virat Kohli in the latest ICC ODI rankings to claim the No.1 spot. Having made his name in the cricketing world as a synonym of consistency, Virat Kohli held the position for a record 1258 days before a marginal dip in form coincided with Babar’s sensational run led to his downfall.
Kohli has not been as highly involved in 50-overs cricket in the recent past, whereas his recent most ODI assignment – a three-match ODI series against England at home last month – did not materialize with the kind of consistency he is known for.
On other hand, Virat’s counterpart, Azam, has been amongst the runs, scoring piles of them against South Africa in their backyard during Pakistan’s recent series win. He was in fine form in all three ODIs as his scores read 103, 31, and 94, totaling 228 runs at an impressive 76.
Azam’s match-winning knock in the last ODI, an 82-ball 94, helped him gain 13 points in the rankings to reach a career-best 865, while Kohli, with 857, is now second. At a distant third comes India’s Rohit Sharma (825 points).
Don’t get too comfy at the top: Wasim Jaffer
Former India opener Wasim Jaffer, meanwhile, has successfully found a funny side to even this situation. As Azam became only the fourth Pakistan batsman to attain the summit in ICC ODI rankings history after Zaheer Abbas (1983-84), Javed Miandad (1988-89), and Mohammad Yousuf (2003), Jaffer congratulated the batsman as he took a cheeky dig at the same time.
Responding to ICC Media’s official Twitter handle with a wink, Jaffer wrote “Congratulations @babarazam258, well deserved. But don’t get too comfy at the top, you know how much Virat Kohli loves chasing #ICCRankings,”.
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) April 14, 2021
For the moment, Babar Azam is leading Pakistan against the same opposition in a four-match T20I series, which is drawn 1-1 currently, with two more games to be played, whereas Kohli is leading his franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the ongoing 14th edition of the Indian Premier League.
Having dominated the rankings for this long, the Indian skipper will not get a chance to regain his spot soon as the latest India feature in an ODI will be during three-ODI series against Sri Lanka in June this year.