Pakistan’s Babar Azam dethrones Virat Kohli in ODI rankings

(Reuters) – Pakistan captain Babar Azam ended India counterpart Virat Kohli’s more than three-year reign as the top ranked one-day batsman in the latest official rankings published on Wednesday.

Babar’s elegant strokemaking has often drawn comparisons with the prolific Kohli who is considered a modern batting great across formats.

Babar led from the front in Pakistan’s 2-1 ODI series victory in South Africa last week and snapped Kohli’s 1,258 day stay atop the official rankings, the governing International Cricket Council (ICC) said in a statement.

The 26-year-old is the third Pakistan batsman to achieve the honour following in the footsteps of Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad and Mohammad Yousuf.

Babar and Kohli are currently the only two batsmen in the top six in all three formats.

“This is another milestone in my career, which will now require even more hard work and absolute consistency with the bat in order for me to hold on to the ranking for an extended period of time…” Babar said in a statement issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

“I have also previously topped the T20I rankings, but the ultimate ambition and goal is to lead the test rankings…”