Hasan Ali becomes No.1 ODI bowler: Three Pakistan bowlers who have achieved the feat before him

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Ajmal had a long rein at the top of the ODI bowlers rankings.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali has been garnering all the headlines in recent times with his bowling performances in the 50-over format.

The 23-year-old’s career best 5-34 in the third ODI against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi propelled him to the top of the charts of the ICC bowlers rankings.

Continuing his brilliant 2017 form, the pacer is also the leading wicket-taking charts in the calendar year with 55 scalps to his name.

Such has been Ali’s instant impact that the right-arm fast bowler has claimed the top ODI spot just 14 months after making his debut for the national team against Ireland in August of last year.

As the lanky bowler continues to draw plaudits for his showings, we look at three previous bowlers from Pakistan who have managed to attain the No.1 spot in the ODI rankings.

Saeed Ajmal

The right-arm off-spinner was the last Pakistan bowler to hold the top crown. The man most famous for his ‘Doosra’ or other one, had a brilliant 2011 which saw him scale that peak in November.

Ajmal had a dream three-year run between 2011 and 2013 where he finished each year as the top ODI bowler. He went on to play 113 matches for his country picking up 184 wickets at an average of 22.72.

His best figures came in a match against arch-rivals India during Pakistan’s tour of the country in 2013 where he claimed 5-24 at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi.

Ajmal was imperious at the start of the decade.

Ajmal was imperious at the start of the decade.

Saqlain Mushtaq

One of the greatest ODI bowlers Pakistan have produced, Mushtaq has a stellar record in the one-day game.

The right-arm off-spinner was perhaps the first to ever master the ‘Doosra’ and he took to the 50-over game instantly, becoming the then fastest bowler to 100 wickets.

Mushtaq was one of the rare spinners who could bowl equally well at the death overs being given the responsibility to do so on many instances.

He attained the top ranking in the ICC ODI bowlers category in January 1998. He would go on to play 169 matches for Pakistan, picking up an impressive 288 wickets at an average of 21.78.

Saqlain reached the top of the bowlers' ranking in January, 1998.

Saqlain reached the top of the bowlers’ ranking in January, 1998.

Wasim Akram

One of the greatest bowlers to have ever played the game, Wasim Akram was a brilliant exponent of swing bowling with express pace.

Having made his ODI debut in 1984 under the legendary Zaheer Abbas, Akram had a fantastic run in 1989 which bestowed him the honour of the top ranking in the ICC ODI table for bowlers.

He remains the highest wicket-taker for his country in the 50-over format with 502 wickets against his name in 356 ODIs.

Between 1986 and 1989, Akram completed a century of ODI wickets at an average of 22.71 and it was this form which culminated in him topping the rankings chart in October, 1989.

Wasim Akram reigned at top of the rankings in 1989.

Wasim Akram reigned at top of the rankings in 1989.

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