Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman has become Babar Azam’s closest rankings challenger after he was rewarded for his recent form with massive gains on the latest ICC Men’s ODI Batting Rankings.

Fakhar had commenced Pakistan’s ongoing ODI series at home against New Zealand in a blaze of glory, with the 33-year-old scoring back-to-back centuries to put his side in control of the five-match series.

The left-hander scored 117 in the series opener in Rawalpindi and then backed it up with a magnificent 180* in the second match at the same venue and was duly rewarded with an eight-spot jump to second behind Babar on the latest rankings update.


Fakhar has scored three ODI centuries on the trot, rising to a career-best rating of 784 rating points and is now the closest challenger to his skipper despite trailing by 103 rating points.

It means Pakistan now have three players in the top five on the latest ODI batting charts ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup later this year, with Imam-ul-Haq remaining in fifth place behind his two teammates and South Africa’s Rassie van der Dussen and India’s Shubman Gill.