LONDON: Having a superb run from underdogs to the Champions of this year’s title, Pakistan improved two places to sixth in the ICC ODI team rankings as the finalists India remained at number three.
After the defeat in their first ever match in Champions Trophy 2017 at the hands of India, Green Shirts improved their batting in the tournament causing them to heap a huge total of 338 runs that could not be achieved by the Men in Blue who returned to pavilion leaving a 180-run victory for Pakistan.
The ICC issued ranking of ODI batsmen that sees young gun Babar Azam rising three spots into fifth on the batting rankings.
India captain Virat Kohli is on the top of list followed by Australia vice-captain David Warner (second), Proteas skipper AB de Villiers (third) and England’s Joe Root (fourth) among the top echelon of ODI batsmen.
Pakistan leapfrogged Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to move closer to direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup, for which host England and the next seven highest-ranked sides as on 30 September will get straight entries.
Pakistan, once a cricketing powerhouse, has watched its world ranking slide as top teams have refused to tour the conflict-prone country, forcing the home side to play all international matches abroad.
Only Zimbabwe have visited Pakistan since a 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore which prompted all other major teams to call off tours.
Pakistan entered the eight-team Champions Trophy in England and Wales ranked dead last, but upset arch-rivals India with a 180-run thrashing in Sunday’s final.
It was Pakistan’s first international 50-over trophy since winning the 1992 World Cup. –SAMAA
Story first published: 20th June 2017