Babar Azam lauds team after Pakistan secures top spot in ODI rankings

“I always tell the players that they are here because they are the best in the business," says skipper

By Sports Desk
May 06, 2023

Reacting to Pakistan's latest ranking as the top ranked one day international (ODI) team, skipper Babar Azam lauded his team for their spectacular performance, adding that he was "honoured" to captain the national side.

During a media talk after the fourth ODI, the skipper praised his team for rejoicing in each other's successes and staying positive throughout.

It must be added that the Green Shirts jumped to the top spot after they successfully defended their mammoth target of 334 runs during the fourth ODI match, establishing a 4-0 lead in the ongoing five-match series against New Zealand.

After the victory, their score increased from 112 to 113.483, making them the top team.

Following the match, Babar during a media talk said: “It is an honour for me that I’m the captain of the number one ODI team in the world. I would like to congratulate the players and the entire nation for this achievement.”

He praised the players by side and said: “The players performed in different conditions and difficult situations which improved our confidence.

“I always tell the players that they are here because they are the best in the business."

The national side skipper also said that the team has chased down big totals while also defending small targets.

"We have a good team combination, with the bowlers and batters contributing to the team's victories,” he said.

Before this, Pakistan's previous highest ODI ranking was third which they attained in January 2018 and again in June 2022.

In order to cement their place at the top, Pakistan will have to win the series 5-0. A defeat in the last ODI on Sunday will see them drop to the number-three spot with Australia reclaiming their number-one ranking.

Earlier, Azam scored a superb century to help Pakistan register a thumping 102-run victory in the fourth match against New Zealand in Karachi.

Azam stroked a 117-ball 107 and also became the fastest batter to reach 5,000 ODI runs, as his team made 334-6 in their 50 overs.

His 18th ODI hundred took him past the mark in his 97th innings in the format, beating former South Africa batter Hashim Amla´s previous record of 101 innings.

New Zealand were bowled out for 232 in 43.4 overs with skipper Tom Latham (60), Mark Chapman (46), and Daryl Mitchell (34) offering some resistance.

Leg-spinner Usama Mir led Pakistan´s bowling charge with a career-best 4-43 while pacers Mohammad Wasim (3-40) and Haris Rauf (2-37) also impressed.