Pakistan will finish 2017 as top T20 cricket team


Dubai, Dec. 26 (TNS): The Pakistan cricket team will finish 2017 as world’s top-ranked T20 International side, according to the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings.

Having amassed 124 rating points in 23 matches this calendar year, Pakistan soared to the top of the ranking, and even though its nearest rival West Indies (120) do have a match left to play this year, the men in green’s lead at the top is mathematically out of anyone’s reach.

As things stand, New Zealand occupy the third sport, followed by India, who will finish the year in fourth place despite whitewashing Sri Lanka 3-0 in their recent T20I series.

In One Day Internationals (ODI), South Africa occupy the top spot, with Pakistan placed sixth. In Test cricket rankings, India sit atop, with Pakistan in a lowly seventh position.

In T20I player rankings, Pakistan all-rounder Imad Wasim will finish the year as the top-ranked bowler, just ahead of Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan.

Meanwhile, the 20-over format’s top-ranked batsman and all-rounder are Australia’s Aaron Finch and Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan.

ODI player rankings are even better from a Pakistani perspective, with both the top-ranked bowler and all-rounder being from the national team: Hasan Ali being the bowler and Mohammad Hafeez the all-rounder, although the latter has since reverted to being just a batsman due to a one-year bowling ban.

India’s newly married captain Virat Kohli remains the top-ranked ODI batsman.

The Test rankings, however, paint an ugly picture for Pakistan fans as only Azhar Ali cracks the top 10 in all three individual lists. The veteran batsman finishes the year in eighth place in the five-day format’s batting rankings, which is topped by Australian skipper Steve Smith.

England’s James Anderson and Bangladesh’s Shakib are the top-ranked bowler and all-rounder respectively in the game’s longest format.