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Suryakumar closes gap on No.1 T20I batter Md Rizwan with another productive series

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Dubai, Oct 5 (IANS) Dynamic India batter Suryakumar Yadav, following another productive T20I series against South Africa, has edged even closer to Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan on the latest ICC Men's Rankings, with only 16 points separating the No.1 and No.2-ranked T20I batters in the world.

With the T20 World Cup round the corner in Australia, Rizwan is on 854 points, while the India cricketer, who slammed two half-centuries in the recently-concluded three-match series at home against the Proteas, is on 838.

Suryakumar continued his stunning rise in 2022 by finishing India's recent T20I series at home, emerging as their leading run scorer with 119 runs. The 32-year-old should get the chance to claim the top spot during the T20 World Cup beginning on October 16.

Rizwan finished the recent seven-match T20I series against England as the leading run scorer with an impressive 316 runs, but the fact the veteran was rested for the sixth game of the series and managed just one in the series decider in Lahore meant the right-hander lost valuable points at the top of the rankings.

The race for the top spot is so tight that Suryakumar could have overtaken his Pakistan counterpart with a big score in the final match of India's series against the Proteas at Indore on Tuesday, but the right-hander was out for just eight.

It means the battle between the two will continue over the next month when both Pakistan and India are among the favourites to win the eighth edition of the T20 World Cup in Australia.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam remains third on the latest T20I batter rankings and should not be discounted from re-claiming his place at the top, while a host of other batters from around the world made giant strides on the latest set of rankings.

India opener KL Rahul jumps seven spots to 14th on the updated list on the back of his 108 runs from two matches against the Proteas, while South Africa trio Quinton de Kock (up eight spots to 12th), Rilee Rossouw (up 23 places to 20th) and David Miller (up 10 spots to 29th) are also eye-catching movers.

Top-order performer Dawid Malan rises one spot to fifth after a consistent series for England against Pakistan, with team-mate Ben Duckett (up eight spots to equal 24th) also on the improve.

While Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood maintains top spot on the updated list for T20I bowlers, there is some re-shuffling behind him following the completion of two recent series in India and Pakistan. Spin duo Tabraiz Shamsi of South Africa and England's Adil Rashid each drop three spots inside the top 10, with Afghanistan ace Rashid Khan (second), Sri Lanka star Wanindu Hasaranga (third) and Australia veteran Adam Zampa (fourth) all jumping two places each as a result.

The spin-dominated top 10 has a new entrant, with South Africa tweaker Keshav Maharaj jumping seven spots to 10th overall following an impressive series against India that netted the 32-year-old four wickets at an economy rate just greater than seven.

India veteran Ravichandran Ashwin jumps a whopping 28 places to 20th overall, while England seamer Reece Topley improves nine spots to 14th following five wickets from four matches against Pakistan.

There was a minimal change inside the top 10 on the latest list for all-rounders, with India dasher Hardik Pandya dropping one spot to fifth overall as Afghanistan veteran Mohammad Nabi maintained his place at the top.



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