Babar Azam is in danger of losing his mantle as the best T20I batter in the world after emerging India star Suryakumar Yadav moved within striking distance of the Pakistan captain on the latest MRF Tyres ICC Men's Player Rankings.
Yadav has been in fine form for India during their ongoing T20I series against West Indies and the 31-year-old’s latest exploits with the bat has seen him rewarded on the latest rankings update.
The ICC released their weekly update of the rankings on Wednesday and Yadav surged up 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.
His 816 points are the third-highest points ever achieved by an Indian, behind Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.
Yadav only made his international debut at the start of last year and his rapid recent rise has come on the back of a century against England in Nottingham last month and a stylish half-century against West Indies on Tuesday.
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.
Pakistan veteran Mohammad Rizwan (third), South Africa's Aiden Markram (fourth) and England left-hander Dawid Malan (fifth) all dropped a place due to Yadav's jump, while there were a host of other batters that made giant strides on the latest rankings update.
South Africa opener Reeza Hendricks jumped 16 places to 15th overall, while team-mate Tristan Stubbs rose a whopping 1,404 spots to equal 126th overall.
Gustav McKeon also caught the eye following his heroics at the T20 World Cup 2024 Europe Sub-Regional Qualifiers, with the French opener improving 706 spots to joint 134th.
South Africa spinner Tabraiz Shamsi jumped one place to second overall on the latest T20I bowler rankings on the back of his strong showing during the Proteas' series against England, with Afghanistan superstar Rashid Khan dropping to third as a result.
West Indies spinner Akeal Hosein rises three spots to sixth and a career-high rating following a solid start to the series against India, while there were a handful of notable improvers on the list for all-rounders.
Markram rose four spots to equal seventh, while Zimbabwe star Sikandar Raza (up eight spots to 11th) and India hard-hitter Hardik Pandya (nine place rise to 13th) also caught the eye.
It was a quiet week near the top of proceedings in both the Test and ODI rankings, with a small number of players swapping positions on the latest update in both formats.
India skipper Rohit Sharma 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.
Sri Lanka spinners Ramesh Mendis (up 19 spots to 31st) and Prabath Jayasuriya (up 11 places to 33rd) made ground on the Test rankings for bowlers, while team-mate Dinesh Chandimal improved two spots to 16th on the Test batter rankings.
THIS IS THE BIG TIME!
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is coming to Australia from 16 October to 13 November 2022.
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