The competition for the numero uno position in the ICC T20I rankings has been very intriguing over the past couple of weeks, as Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan and India’s Suryakumar Yadav have put up some tremendous performances for their respective teams. Last month, Rizwan surpassed Babar Azam to take up the no.1 spot, and Suryakumar Yadav’s performances against Australia and South Africa saw him inching closer to the top spot.
But the India star narrowed the margin in terms of positions and rating tally during the home series against Australia and South Africa, and he is now not far away from toppling the Pakistan opener. The Indian middle-order batter overtook Rizwan to take the No.1 spot just for two days amid the South Africa home series.
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Pakistan is currently indulged in a Tri-series against hosts New Zealand and Pakistan. Pakistan played the series opener against Bangladesh on Thursday, October 7, which saw Rizwan leading the team to a win with the game with an unbeaten knock of a 50-ball 78*. After the game, Rizwan praised the Indian batsman for his skills but felt that since he is an opener and Yadav is a middle-order batsman, critics should view them differently.
Talking about the competition, Mohammad Rizwan said, “Suryakumar Yadav is a good player. I enjoy his style of play. But because top-order and middle-order are two different things, things should be viewed differently when talking about us. When I’m batting, I never consider the No. 1 spot in my mind. I contribute to meeting the needs of the team. I don’t give it much thought, but recognitions like Man of the Match and No. 1 batter occasionally have a negative impact.”
Despite having the chance to unseat Rizwan and take over as No. 1, Suryakumar was only able to score eight runs in the final T20I of the series against South Africa and lost a few points which created a 16-points gap between the two batters on the ICC Rankings. Mohammad Rizwan now has an opportunity to maintain his place in the ongoing tri-series before the T20 World Cup begins.