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‘Ranking Doesn’t Matter’: Misbah-ul-Haq Claims Pakistan Rose to the Top by Beating Weak Teams

Last Updated: October 06, 2023, 13:05 IST

Pakistan take on Netherlands in their world cup opener. (AP Photo)

Pakistan take on Netherlands in their world cup opener. (AP Photo)

Pakistan became the top-ranked ODI team earlier this year but have since lost that spot to India.

Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq shook the cricket world with bold claims while speaking in a panel discussion.

One of the finest captains in Pakistan cricket history, Misbah has never shied away from sharing his honest opinions, which can often be brutal.

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This time the former skipper believes that Pakistan became the best ODI team in the world in 2023 by beating third and fourth-tier New Zealand and Australian sides.

“Their (New Zealand and Australia) C and D team came. We won against them and our rating points increased,” he said  on a YouTube channel.

He further said that they should keep the ‘actual’ facts in mind while considering Pakistan’s rise to the top.

Misbah felt that it was a matter of concern that even Australia’s C team were able to bag a win against Pakistan. He added that the team needs to make a realistic analysis of where they stand currently as they have mostly been playing lesser-quality opponents.

“Their third-tier players are playing, yet they are getting so close to us. The ranking doesn’t matter”, Misbah concluded.

Another Pakistan legend, Wasim Akram was also a part of the discussion and opined that the team must only celebrate after being on the top for a good tenure. “We should celebrate the No.1 ranking after remaining on top for six months at least”, Akram said.

Pakistan became the best-ranked ODI team in the world when they took down New Zealand 4-1 at home, earlier this year. This was the first time in cricket history that Pakistan had assumed the number-one spot in the ICC ODI rankings.

The series took place in the cities of Rawalpindi and Karachi from April 27 to May 7.

The Black Caps were missing some key players including the likes of star batter Devon Conway and left-arm bowling specialist Trent Boult. As anticipated, New Zealand lost the first game by 88 runs after their entire team was dismissed at 94.

Similar results followed across the rest of the series as Pakistan won four successive ODIs against the Black Caps. However, New Zealand retaliated with a 47-run victory in the fifth ODI.

Pakistan’s series victory against Australia came in 2022 where they beat them 2-1. The Aussies were without their star players in the series, including Steven Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Glenn Maxwell.

Australian batting veteran Aaron Finch captained the side against Pakistan. Australia’s only win came in the series’ opening game where they beat the hosts by 88 runs.

Pakistan will begin their ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign against the Netherlands on October 6.

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