India captain Virat Kohli’s long reign at the top of the ICC (International Cricket Council) rankings for batsmen was yesterday 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. He now leads the Indian captain by eight points, the ICC said in a statement.
Babar, 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.
He dropped to 852 by the time of the last weekly rankings update with a score of 32 in the second ODI.
By ending Kohli’s 1,258 day-supremacy, which adds up to over three years, Babar has emulated compatriots Zaheer Abbas (1983-84), Javed Miandad (1988-89), and Mohammad Yousuf (2003) as the number one ODI batsman.