Dubai: Suryakumar Yadav is within sniffing distance of dethroning Pakistan’s charismatic cricketer Babar Azam from the No. 1 spot in the ICC T20I rankings for batters after the 31-year-old Indian has given some fine performances in the ongoing five-match series against the West Indies.
The ICC released its weekly update of the rankings on Wednesday and Yadav surged three spots to second overall on the T20I list for batters, with Babar now just two rating points ahead of the in-form right-hander.
While Babar Azam has 818 rating points, Yadav is placed second on the list with 816 points, way ahead of another Pakistan batter Mohammad Rizwan, who is on 794.
Yadav only made his international debut at the start of last year and his rapid rise has come on the back of a century against England in Nottingham last month and a half-century against the West Indies on Tuesday, where he clobbered a 44-ball 76 in a winning cause in the third T20I.
Promoted up the order to open the batting alongside skipper Rohit Sharma for the first time during this tour of the Caribbean, Yadav has been a shining light for India and his 111 runs at a strike rate in excess of 168 through the first three matches of the series has helped the Asian country claim a 2-1 series lead.
It’s also boosted Yadav’s chances of making the trip to Australia for the ICC T20 World Cup later this year and if he can overtake Babar and claim the No.1 T20I ranking then his case will almost be insurmountable.
And Yadav is likely to get the chance to overtake Babar at the head of proceedings over the coming week, with India still having two more games against West Indies remaining in their five-match series. Should Yadav score well in those matches then he may usurp Babar as the No.1 ranked batter, given Pakistan’s next T20I contest is at the end of the month against India at the Asia Cup.
India skipper Rohit Sharma though has dropped a spot to ninth on the Test batter rankings, while team-mate Jasprit Bumrah rose a place to equal third on the list for bowlers.