The latest ICC ODI rankings show Pakistani captain, Babar Azam in first place with Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper, close behind.
Azam sits on top of the charts with 365 points while Kohli trails just 8 points behind. Azam took over the number one spot in April, after a brilliant performance in an ODI series against South Africa. Scoring 228 in the series, he became the best ODI batsman in the world after Kohli had maintained that position for around 4 years. Kohli remained number one from October 2017 to April 2021.
The achievement allowed him entry into a very small group of Pakistani batsmen to hold the same position. However, Azam is the first Pakistan batsman since 2003 to take the top spot. Other than Azam, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, and Mohammad Yousuf have been the number one batsman from Pakistan’s team.
In April, Azam expressed that he is honoured to join this exclusive club and aims to maintain his position as the best batsman through hard work and consistency.
Azam and Kohli have been compared to each other for a long while. Azam overtaking Kohli has only increased the comparisons, even leading to ESPN Cricinfo offering a comparison between the two players.
In April, Azam broke yet another Virat Kohli record, becoming the fastest batsman to score 2000 runs in T20Is. He also became the fastest to get 13 ODI centuries in April.
Fakhar Zaman has also maintained his position as the 7th best batsman in the ODI format with 778 points.