Just two points behind Babar Azam's ratings of 818, India's star batter Suryakumar Yadav is within striking distance of the Pakistan captain's number one spot in the latest ICC T20I rankings. His 816 points are the third-highest points ever achieved by an Indian, behind Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.
Yadav's superb run: The 31 year-old cricketer, who made his international debut last year, has been in a very good form for some time now. He slammed a century against England in Nottingham last month and has been explosive with the bat in West Indies. In his last outing against the Caribbean side in the 3rd T20I of the 5-match series on Tuesday (August 2), Yadav smashed 76 of 44 balls. India won the match.
Yadav was given the opportunity to open the innings with Rohit Sharma against West Indies. He lived up to the expectations of the team and has scored 111 runs in three matches at a strike rate of 168. It has further boosted his chances of making in to the ICC T20 World Cup later this year in Australia.
Can he dethrone Babar Azam for top T20I spot? If all goes well for Yadav in the remaining two T20I matches against the West Indies, then yes, he can claim the number 1 spot in ICC T20I rankings. Also, Pakistan don't have any T20Is scheduled till the Asia Cup, which starts on August 27. This might also go in favour of Yadav, who is just two points behind Azam.
A glorious IPL career: Yadav made his IPL debut with Mumbai Indians in 2011 and stayed with the franchise till 2014. In 2014, he moved to Kolkata Knight Riders, where coming down the order, he played some great knocks and impressed everyone with his explosive style. His batting style was also unique as he kept playing attacking cricket even if the team was losing wickets.
He moved back to Mumbai Indians in 2018. Under the guidance of Mahela Jayawardene and Sachin Tendulkar, Yadav started batting up the order. Soon he amassed, massive number of runs in the IPL. In fact, it was Jayawardene who had sensed the hunger of runs in Yadav, and wanted the young cricketer to excel in his game.