Babar Azam will get a chance to return to the top of the Twenty20 international batting rankings when Pakistan look to maintain a perfect record against Zimbabwe in the three-match series.

Pakistan captain Babar was replaced by England's Dawid Malan as officially the best batsman on the planet in the shortest format in September after he was in the runs against Australia.

Babar has spent a cumulative 774 days as number one across four stretches since January 2018 and is only eight rating points shy of Malan.

Pakistan have won all 11 T20 contests with Zimbabwe and the classy Babar will see three games against the tourists as a golden opportunity to dislodge Malan.

Yet Zimbabwe come into the first match of the series on Saturday on a high from a shock Super Over victory that prevented them from suffering a 3-0 ODI whitewash at the hands of Pakistan.

We use Opta data to preview the series in Rawalpindi.


- Pakistan beat Bangladesh in each of their two other T20 matches at home this year. They had suffered three defeats on the spin on their own patch before those victories.

- Zimbabwe have been beaten in nine of their past 13 T20Is in Asia. Three of their four victories came against non-Test playing nations, but they beat Afghanistan in September 2019.

- Brendan Taylor has 878 runs at international level in the shortest format and is looking to join Hamilton Masakadza as the only Zimbabwe batsman to reach the 1,000 mark.

- Sean Williams heads into this contest on the back of scoring a fourth ODI century (118 not out), at this venue in a famous win on Tuesday. He has made 58no and an unbeaten 40 in two of his past three T20 knocks versus Pakistan.

- Shaheen Afridi (23), Imad Wasim (22), Shadab Khan (21) and Haris Rauf (17) had more dot balls than any England bowlers in a drawn T20 series in August and September.