Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has said that Pakistan achieved the No. 1 ranking in ODIs earlier this year by defeating weak Australian and New Zealand teams. He further added that it’s important to keep facts in mind while looking at rankings as well. However, India are currently the No. 1 side in ODI cricket whereas Pakistan achieved the top ranking in the format in May this year when they beat New Zealand by 102 runs in an ODI in Karachi as well.
During a discussion, Misbah was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan, “New Zealand and Australia came to Pakistan. They were the top-ranked teams. Their C and D team came. We won against them and our rating points increased. Then West Indies and other teams came and we won against them as well. We became happy by achieving No. 1 rank, but we should keep actual facts in mind. Australia’s C team even won one match against us. Then New Zealand’s D team came, as all their main players went for IPL. We need to realistically think where we stand as our main team is playing and their third tier players are playing, yet they are getting so close to us. Ranking doesn’t matter.”
However, Men in Green beat Australia 2-1 in an ODI series in 2022 whereas Pakistan beat New Zealand 4-1 in a four-match ODI series. Following their win in the fourth ODI of the series, they achieved the No. 1 ranked ODI team for the first time in history as well.
Along with Misbah, Pakistan legend Wasim Akram was also part of the discussion and he opined that a team must celebrate being No. 1 in the ICC rankings only if they are able to stay there for a decent period of time as well. “We should celebrate the No. 1 ranking after remaining on top for six months at least,” Akram said.