Babar Azam Completes 2023 as Top-Ranked Batter for the Second Consecutive Time
Babar Azam, Pakistan’s leading batsman, has concluded the year 2023 by securing a prominent position in the ICC Rankings, maintaining his status among the cricketing elite for the second consecutive year.
In the 2023 ICC batting rankings, Babar Azam secured the 5th position in Tests, 1st in ODIs, and 4th in T20Is. Despite facing challenges in 2023, he wrapped up the year as one of the premier batters in global cricket.
In the preceding year, 2022, he also secured top rankings, holding 3rd in Tests, 1st in ODIs, and 4th in T20Is, marking it as his best year to date.
Babar Azam, who had held the top ODI batting ranking for nearly three years, temporarily lost it during the 2023 World Cup. However, in the final month of the year, he reclaimed the top spot, displacing the emerging Indian talent, Shubman Gill.
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Notably, the ODI World Cup 2023 proved challenging for Babar Azam both as a batsman and captain. Consequently, he opted to step down from the captaincy across all formats, choosing to focus solely on his batting.
Despite a lackluster performance in the major tournament, scoring only 320 runs in nine innings, Babar managed to accumulate a total of 1,065 runs in 25 ODIs throughout 2023, maintaining an average of 46.30.
His last ODI century was against Nepal in the Asia Cup 2023. Subsequently, facing criticism from former cricketers, he decided to relinquish his captaincy.
In Tests, Babar scored 204 runs in 5 matches with an average of 22.66, failing to register a single fifty in 2023. However, in T20Is, he scored 913 runs with an average of 43.47, including a remarkable century against New Zealand in early 2023.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain anticipates a promising year for Babar Azam in 2024, emphasizing the importance of his performance in the upcoming June T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA. Hussain believes that Babar’s focus on batting, having relinquished captaincy, is crucial for Pakistan’s success in the tournament. Despite recent struggles in the ongoing Test series against Australia, fans remain hopeful for Babar’s strong comeback, given his renowned batting prowess.