England’s Dawid Malan displaces Pakistan’s Babar Azam to become No.1 T20I batsman

England batsman Dawid Malan has climbed four places to occupy No.1 position in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20I Rankings for batsmen released on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old left-hander’s upward move in the rankings came after he impressed with the bat during his side’s 2-1 win over Australia in the recently-concluded three-match T20I series at home.

Malan has progressed four places after a series-topping run aggregate of 129, which included a player of the match effort of 66 in the first fixture. 

The England batsman, whose previous best ranking was second in November last year, is now eight rating points ahead of Pakistan’s Babar Azam.

Malan’s teammates Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler have also made headway in Wednesday’s update, the ICC press release stated.

While Bairstow has gained three slots to reach a career-best 19th position after scoring 72 runs in the series, Buttler has moved up from 40th to 28th after scoring 121 runs in two matches, which also helped him clinch player of the series award.

For Australia, skipper Aaron Finch’s 125 runs in the series have helped him retain his third position. 

Glenn Maxwell continues to occupy his sixth position among batsmen while gaining one slot to reach second position in the list of all-rounders, which is currently led by Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi.

Notably, Virat Kohli is the only Indian to currently feature in the top 10 of the T20I rankings for batsmen. The Indian skipper is standing at the ninth position, just ahead of England’s Eoin Morgan.

In the T20I rankings for bowlers, England leg-spinner Adil Rashid has gained two slots to reach seventh position after finishing as the most successful bowler in the series with six wickets, while Australia left-arm spinner Ashton Agar’s five wickets have enabled him retain third position, behind the Afghanistan spin pair of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb ur Rahman.

Australia fast bowler Kane Richardson has moved into the top 10 for the first time in his career after taking three wickets in the series while his compatriot Mitchell Starc (up seven places to 18th) and England’s Mark Wood (up 41 places to 79th) have also made notable gains.

Meanwhile, Australia have reclaimed the top spot in the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings after briefly conceding it to England during the series.

Australia, who began the series 10 points ahead of their rivals at 278, were overtaken after losing the first two matches, when both were on 273 points, with England ahead on decimal points. 

However, Australi, who were number one for the first time in this format at the time of the annual update on May 1 this year, are now standing on 275 points and England on 271. 

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Sagar Biswas

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