Hasaranga and Rajapaksa move up in ICC T20I Rankings

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Sri Lankan leg-spinning all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga and left-hand batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa have been rewarded for their dominant performances at the Asia Cup by making giant strides on the latest MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Player Rankings.

Hasaranga, a top-ranked bowler, has advanced in all three lists after a fine all-round effort in the final saw him smash a 21-ball 36 and follow it up with a late triple-strike with his leg-spin bowling. With a three-wicket haul in the previous match against Pakistan two days earlier, he has moved up three places to sixth position. He is also up seven places to fourth among all-rounders.

The Sri Lanka all-rounder picked up nine wickets for the tournament and won the man of the series award.  His form was a major reason why the island nation was able to claim a sixth Asia Cup title.

And Hasaranga could be eyeing off top spot in both ranking lists should he be able to replicate his current form during the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

The 25-year-old is now just 100 rating points behind Australia’s Josh Hazlewood on the list for T20I bowlers, while the gap at the top is even less on the all-rounder rankings.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan is the new No.1 ranked T20I all-rounder after he overtook Afghanistan veteran Mohammad Nabi following the Asia Cup.

But Hasaranga’s rapid recent rise sees him move to a total of 184 rating points, with both Shakib (248) and Nabi (246) well within his sights.

Meanwhile, Rajapaksa’s blistering 71 off 45 deliveries with six fours and three sixes, that won him the Player of the Match award, has helped him advance 34 places to a career-best 34th position. Rajapaksa had scores of 25 not out against India and 24 against Pakistan in other matches of the tournament played during the past week.

Former India captain Virat Kohli, who smashed a match-winning 122 not out off 61 deliveries in a Super Four match against Afghanistan, has leaped 14 places to reach 15th position, while seam bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s remarkable haul of five for four in the same match has lifted him to the top 10, from 11th to seventh position. KL Rahul has progressed from 30th to 23rd.

Kohli has some way to go before he is back into contention for the top ranking for T20I batters, but he is at least moving in the right direction now after returning to form during the Asia Cup.

Pakistan veteran Mohammad Rizwan maintains his lead at the head of the T20I batter rankings, while South Africa’s Aiden Markram jumps in front of Babar Azam to claim second place in a tight battle for top billing.

On the list for T20I bowlers, India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (up four spots to seventh) and Pakistan duo Haris Rauf (up nine places to equal 25th) and Mohammad Nawaz (up seven spots to 34th) were among the biggest movers after strong performances at the Asia Cup.