Aaron Finch, Fakhar Zaman and KL Rahul have leapfrogged the existing table-toppers to become the top-three batsmen in the T20I rankings.
The MRF Tyres ICC T20I Players Rankings for batsmen had a brand new 1-2-3 at the end of the series between England and India, which the visitors won 2-1, and the triangular series in Zimbabwe, where Pakistan beat Australia in the final.
Finch, the new captain of the Australian T20I side, had a remarkable run during the tournament in Zimbabwe, scoring 68*, 172 – a world record in the format, 16, 3 and 47.
Coming as these runs did on the back of the 84 he scored in the one-off T20I against England, Finch rose three spots from No.4 to becoming the new No.1 batsman. He played no small role in Australia bouncing back from a spate of losses across formats in recent times, but it was still not enough for his team to win the tri-series title.
That was in a major part due to Fakhar Zaman. Zaman, who Finch had called “a real thorn in our side” before the final, slammed a career-best 91 in just 46 balls in the final, his blitz helping Pakistan cross Australia’s 183/8 with four balls in hand.
Zaman’s performance in the tournament was spectacular and his rise in the rankings equally so. His sequence in Zimbabwe read 61, 6, 47, 73 (his career-best score before the final) and 91. No wonder he moved up 44 spots on the table to reach No.2 with 842 points, also the best in his short international career so far.
Interestingly, earlier in the tournament, Finch had also reached a career-high 900 points, and the new No.3 on the table, KL Rahul, did the same in the first match of three-T20I series in England, getting to 854 points.
That was after he had led India to victory in the first game of the series with an unbeaten 101. He dipped from there, but 6 and 19 in the next two games ensured he was up nine spots since the last update at 812 points.
The injured Babar Azam, Colin Munro and Glenn Maxwell all moved down, occupying the three spots below Finch, Zaman and Rahul, while further down on the list, there were more such interesting changes.
D’Arcy Short, Finch’s opening partner, had an up-and-down run in Zimbabwe, but scores of 46 and 76 – in the final – during the course of the tournament helped him jump 18 places to No.10. It’s a career-best number for him, his first time in the Top 10, with 690 points, also a career high.
Among others ending the England v India series with career-best points were Jason Roy (up 19 spots to No.15 with 641 points) and Jos Buttler (up nine spots to No.17 with 614 points), but perhaps the most breath-taking rise has been that of Zimbabwe opener Solomon Mire.
Mire started the tri-series with a big reputation but not much in terms of numbers in T20I cricket, but almost single-handedly kept Zimbabwe hoping for a spot in the final with two magnificent innings.
He started slowly with 27 and 28 in the first two games but then slammed 94 – Zimbabwe’s best in the format – and 63 in the last two to rise an incredible 202 places in the rankings. He ended with a career-best 581 points and the 25th place on the table.
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