Leggie Wanindu Hasaranga makes rapid progress in ICC T20I rankings

Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga has usurped Afghanistan’s new T20I captain Rashid Khan to accomplish a career-best second spot among T20I bowlers in the latest ICC rankings. Claiming the throne is South Africa’s Tabraiz Shamsi, who has a 72-point advantage following nifty returns on the tour of the Caribbean and Ireland earlier this month.

As many as six wrist-spinners feature in the top ten – the others being England’s Adil Rashid (fourth), Australia’s Adam Zampa (seventh) and New Zealand’s Ish Sodhi (ninth). Rashid lags behind Hasaranaga by just a single point, although the latter might establish a more pronounced lead in the second and third T20Is against India this week. On the back of an assortment of regulation leg-breaks and wrong’ uns, the 23-year-old tweaker picked 2 for 28 during the series opener in Colombo on Sunday.

Hasaranga struck on the very first ball he bowled in the match as his googly trapped Sanju Samson plumb in front of the wickets. Subsequently, the mystery spinner, who has made life difficult for the Indian batsmen in the ongoing limited-overs assignment, was also able to prise out a well-settled Suryakumar Yadav. As a result, Hasaranga surged ahead of Rashid in the latest update in the rankings chart.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India’s vice-captain on tour, leapt four places to claim the 16th rung, while Yuzvendra Chahal, who fought redemption in the first T20I after what has been a lengthy lull, jumped 10 places to be ranked 21st. Fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera also moved up five notches to grab the 37th position.