ICC Rankings: From ball boy to No.1 ODI batsman, Babar Azam beats Virat Kohli

Babar became the fastest men’s international cricketer to score 13 ODI hundreds this month.

Wednesday April 14: Indian captain Virat Kohli’s long reign at the top of the ICC rankings for batsmen was on Wednesday brought to an end by his Pakistan counterpart Babar Azam, who became only the fourth from his country to attain the position.

The 26-year-old right-hander’s player of the match effort of an 82-ball 94 in the last game of the series against South Africa in Centurion helped him gain 13 rating points to reach 865 points.

It took 18 Years for a Pakistan to top the ICC ODI batting rankings & it’s none other than Babar Azam.
Becoming the first to reach No.1 spot in ODIs after Muhammad Yousuf did that way back in 2003.

He was a star of the Under-19 World Cups in 2010 and 2012 and who has been playing ODIs since 2015, had started the series against South Africa at 837 rating points but moved up to 858 (ahead of Kohli) after his score of 103 in the first match.

Babar said, “I know. It does feel nice that you are compared to some very good players in the game. My mindset is that I challenge myself. I set myself targets. I set myself benchmarks. I have to win matches for Pakistan. And win matches which help the team.

Comparisons with big players also help you to set goals that match those of the big players. If your name figures in the top five of the world it is obviously a nice feeling. It also means that you have to keep performing to those standards and that boosts your confidence too. I like it.”

Also Babar said about his fans in India, “I have won fans with my performances and I have friends in India too. I also have fans in India and I request them to keep supporting me. To keep backing me.”

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