Signs good for World Cup as Pakistan trio dominate batter rankings

MRF Tyres ICC Rankings

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Pakistan's stranglehold on the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Batting Rankings has been further strengthened with in-form opener Imam-ul-Haq the eye-catching mover on the latest update.

Imam hit two half-centuries during the final three matches of the recently-completed ODI series against New Zealand, with the left-hander compiling a stylish 90 in the final game of the series to finish with 174 runs for the series at a healthy average of 58.

It helped Imam jump one place to fourth on the latest ODI batter rankings, with Pakistan now holding on to three of the top four players on the list ahead of this year's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup courtesy of skipper Babar Azam (first) and fellow opener Fakhar Zaman (third).

South Africa's Rassie van der Dussen is the only player sandwiched in between the Pakistan trio, with the right-hander in second place and some 109 rating points behind Babar.

Pakistan's 4-1 series triumph over New Zealand saw many of their best performers rewarded on the latest rankings that was updated by the ICC on Wednesday, with pace trio Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Wasim among the big winners.

Rauf finished as the leading wicket-taker for the series with nine scalps and improved nine places to 42nd on the ODI bowler rankings as a result, while Wasim moved from outside the top 100 to 69th overall after his six wickets from three games.

Afridi claimed eight wickets over the course of the series, while his entertaining cameo of 23* in the fourth game helped the left-hander rise eight places to 36th on the list for ODI all-rounders.

New Zealand's bevy of stars did not leave the sub-continent empty-handed, with pacer Matt Henry rising one spot to fourth on the bowler rankings courtesy of his eight scalps against Pakistan at a decent economy rate of 5.68.

Stand-in skipper Tom Latham rose eight spots to equal 21st on the batter rankings following 282 runs for the series, while teammate Will Young shot up 24 places to 75th following his impressive knock of 87 in the series finale in Karachi.


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