For the past decade or so, Afghanistan has improved as a cricket team. The team from Central Asia has given us some breath-taking moments. Afghanistan has produced both hard-hitting batters and textbook players. From elegant cover drives to powerful pull shots, the Afghans can play all of those. No wonder many Afghan batters find their names in the ICC rankings every year. Here are the Top 10 Afghanistan ODI Batters in ICC Rankings (as of 1 January 2022)-

1. Rahmat Shah (42nd)

Rahmat Shah Zurmatai is an all-rounder and made his ODI debut against Scotland in 2013. He has played 72 innings and has scored 2467 runs at an average of 35.75. He is the 3rd-highest run-getter in ODIs for Afghanistan. He has five centuries and 16 half-centuries to his name. His highest score (114) came against Zimbabwe in 2018 when he shared a 158-run stand for the 5th-wicket with Najibullah Zadran. However, his average of 54 in 2021 catches eyeballs.

2. Najibullah Zadran (57th)

Najibullah Zadran has scored 1615 runs for Afghanistan in ODI cricket. Currently ranked 57th by ICC, he started his ODI career against Ireland in 2012. His best knock came against Ireland in 2019 when he hit 104* (98) in a losing cause and which is his only century in ODI.

3. Hashmatullah Shahidi (60th)

Hashmatullah Shahidi averages 32.97 in ODI cricket and has scored 1154 runs in 41 innings, with 97* being his highest. He debuted against Kenya in 2013 but out on duck. His 97* came against Pakistan in the 2018 Asia Cup, although in a losing cause. He is currently placed 60th in the ICC rankings.

4. Mohammad Nabi (64th)

This man is everywhere when we talk about Afghanistan cricket. He has shattered records in T20I, tests, and ODIs while both batting and bowling. He made his ODI debut against Kenya in 2013. He is the first Afghan to complete 1000 runs and take 100 wickets in ODI and the highest Afghan run-getter in the 50-over format (2817). He has a century and 15 fifties in this format. He scored a match-winning 116 (121) against Zimbabwe in 2015, which is his best score.

5. Asghar Afghan (69th)

Mohammad Asghar Afghan is currently the 4th-highest run-scorer for Afghanistan in ODI. He is the most successful ODI captain of Afghanistan, winning 34 of 59 matches (success rate of 61.6 %). He has scored 2424 runs since his debut in 2009 versus Scotland. He has one century and 12 half-centuries in 108 innings.

6. Rashid Khan (85th)

The young dynamite named Rashid Khan Arman is currently the 85th best batter in ODI cricket. He is the youngest Afghan to score 1000 runs and take 100 wickets in ODIs. Moreover, he is the youngest ever to captain a nation. He has scored 1008 runs in 58 innings with the best score of 60* (versus Ireland, Belfast, 2016).

7. Gulbadin Naib (92nd)

Gulbadin Naib is an all-rounder from Logar who debuted against Canada in Toronto in 2011. He started as a top-order batter but has since developed his bowling considerably. He has made 1079 runs in 58 innings, with 82* being his highest score. His 82* when Afghanistan was 121/5 in 26.3 overs while chasing 249. He joined hands with the lower-order to help his team win the match by two wickets and two balls to spare.

8. Javed Ahmadi (106th)

Mohammad Javed Ahmadi hails from Kunduz and is an opening batter who bats briskly in ODI. He currently holds the 115th rank in the ICC ODI rankings. He has scored 1049 runs at the strike rate of 76.01. His best knock came against Ireland, where he scored 81 while opening the innings and helped Afghanistan post 180. In 2nd innings, he got rid of 4 Irish batters but couldn’t bail his team out of the jaws of defeat.

9. Usman Ghani (115th)

Usman Ghani is a right-handed opening batter and is the 2nd-youngest player to score an ODI century. He has scored 411 runs in 15 innings at an average of 27.4 and striking at 79.03. His famous ton came against Zimbabwe in 2014 in a losing cause. He scored a 143-ball-118 to take his team to 256/7. But Zimbabwe chased the target with eight wickets in hand.

10. Hazratullah Zazai (128th)

The hard-hitting Hazratullah Zazai is a T20I specialist but is equally effective in ODIs. In 16 innings, he averages 22.56 to aggregate 361 runs. His graph in ODI will only rise in the years to come. His best innings came against Ireland in Dehradun in 2019, where he scored 67 runs but the 2nd innings was washed away by the rain.