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Shubman Gill vs Babar Azam: Top batters vie for No 1 ranking in World Cup 2023

Shubman Gill vs Babar Azam: Top batters vie for No 1 ranking in World Cup 2023
  • PublishedSeptember 27, 2023

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Pakistan captain Babar Azam (right) and Indias Shubman Gill. — Reuters/AFP/File
Pakistan captain Babar Azam (right) and India’s Shubman Gill. — Reuters/AFP/File

Pakistan captain Babar Azam’s lead as the top ODI batter continues to diminish as India’s Shubman Gill makes further inroads on the batter on the latest ICC rankings update.

Gill has been in superb touch for India during the first two matches of their ODI series against Australia, with the in-form opener having amassed a total of 178 runs for the series during the opening two contests.

The right-hander hit a quickfire 74 during the opening match of the series in Mohali and backed that up by scoring the sixth ODI century of his career in Indore to reach a new career-high rating on the updated list for ODI batters.

Gill now has a total of 847 rating points and is just 10 rating points behind Babar, ahead of the start of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup on October 5.

With Pakistan not scheduled to play an official ODI match until their World Cup opener and Gill set to sit out India’s final clash of their series against Australia, it means Babar will enter this year’s tournament with the top ranking.

The race between Babar and Gill at the top of the batter rankings will continue to be closely fought throughout the six weeks of the World Cup, with the pair holding a massive lead over their nearest challengers.

South Africa hard-hitter Rassie van der Dussen (743 rating points) is third on the batter rankings and more than 100 points adrift of the leading duo, while Ireland young gun Harry Tector rises to fourth and a new career-high rating despite the fact much of his side’s ODI series against England was affected by rain.

India duo Shreyas Iyer (up eight places to 30th) and KL Rahul (up six spots to 33rd) also enjoy a rise up the rankings this week following impressive performances against Australia, while teammate Mohammed Siraj maintains a narrow lead at the top of the list for ODI bowlers.

Siraj rose to the top on the back of his six-wicket haul during the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka earlier this month and holds an 11-point lead over Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood at the top of the rankings despite the fact he hasn’t featured in the ODI series against the Aussies.

Just 55 rating points separate the top 10 players on the ODI bowler rankings, with experienced Australia spinner Adam Zampa improving one place to seventh on the back of his three wickets from the opening two matches against India.

India pacer Mohammed Shami (up nine spots to equal 25th) and Australia counterpart Sean Abbott (up 14 places to equal 45th) also make some ground on this list on the latest rankings update, while Bangladesh quick Mustafizur Rahman improves five spots to 23rd after five wickets in his side’s ODI series against New Zealand.

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