Azam was the fulcrum of Pakistan's batting unit in the T20I series which the hosts swept 3-0. He topped the run-getters' chart with 163 runs from three games, scoring at a strike rate of 117.26, on surfaces where batsmen generally found it tough to get going. Entering the three-match series ranked 5, the opener pushed down Aaron Finch by a spot on the chart to reclaim the top spot. His opening partner, Fakhar Zaman, who did not have the best of the times with the bat, slipped from No. 2 to No. 5 on the rankings column.
Meanwhile, Jason Roy's 36-ball 69 in England's 30-run win over Sri Lanka in the only T20I saw him jump five spots to enter into the top 10 of the table. He currently stands on No. 9 with a career-high 688 rating points. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who picked up 3/11 in the game also made significant movement rising four places to finish fifth on the rankings charts with a career-best 676 points giving the table for bowlers a very interesting read.
With Rashid Khan, Shadab Khan, Ish Sodhi and Yuzvendra Chahal all holding on to their positions in the top four and Adil Rashid now joining them, the top five bowlers on the rankings table are all leg-spinners.
Pakistan's Imad Wasim, who made an immediate impact on return to international cricket after more than a year picking up 4 wickets in three games going at an economy of just 5.08, also moved into the top ten of the table soaring 14 spots to No. 10. His entry makes it nine spinners in the top ten of the rankings table with the only exception being pacer Billy Stanlake. The lanky seamer was one of the few bright sparks for Australia in an otherwise forgettable tour as he returned seven wickets in the three T20Is moving upto No. 9, a gain of nine places.
Pakistan continued to retain their top spot on the team rankings with a tenth successive T20I series win. The result means Pakistan cannot be displaced from the top position irrespective of the outcome of their upcoming series against New Zealand or the series between India and Windies that starts next month.
First Published: October 29, 2018, 4:08 PM IST