Babar Azam finished off his incredible and electrifying 2021 journey with a number 1 T20I batting ranking by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his stellar performance in a match against West Indies.
Babar’s 79 from 53 balls against the West Indies in Karachi moved him back to the top spot, outpacing Aiden Markram and Dawid Malan.
He has now ranked number 1 in both T20I and ODI rankings going into the final nine days of 2021.
🔹 Babar Azam surges to the 🔝— ICC (@ICC) December 22, 2021
🔹 Mohammad Rizwan into the top three 🔥
Significant gains for Pakistan batters in the latest @MRFWorldwide ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings 👉 https://t.co/hBFKXGWUp4 pic.twitter.com/qqUfYsFGkA
See the full list of the ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings here.
Babar’s legacy is being crafted across all three formats, but his talent shone brightest in 2021’s shortest format.
Babar scored 939 runs at 37.56, with a strike rate of 127.58, aided by a successful tour of South Africa in April, ICC said.
A world-class batting display followed Babar’s 50 in Johannesburg with a 122 from 59 deliveries in Centurion.
Pakistan chased down the target of 204 with two overs to spare after being dismissed in the 18th over trying to ramp Lizaad Williams.
Babar Rizwan unbeaten
Even though Babar’s move to the top of the order with Mohammad Rizwan was questioned by fans and media alike, the pair took on the batting load with ease.
The pair made 1380 runs together in 2021, with an average partnership of 57.50.
Saud Islam and Simon Ssesazi of Uganda and Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien of Ireland were the second and third best T20I teams in the world this year.
At an average of 57.33, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma also looked dangerous, but they only played together nine times