At the conclusion of the tri-series in Zimbabwe also involving Pakistan and Australia and later India vs England, the rankings were updated by the ICC.
The Victorian starred with the bat, highlighted by his record-breaking 172 against hosts Zimbabwe, but also brought together an inexperienced team shell-shocked by a winless tour of England.
"Yes, he's definitely [a big-match player]", said Sarfraz.
Mohammad Amir was Pakistan's best bowler with a haul of 3-33, including two wickets in the final over, to ensure Australia didn't get to 200.
"Finchy's certainly put his best foot forward this series".
Finch has become one of the finest limited-overs openers in the world, averaging 38.19 in ODIs with 11 centuries.
Back in March, Paine's obvious leadership strengths and seniority ensured he was the first choice to be thrust into the captaincy following Steve Smith's suspension over his role in the ball-tampering fiasco in South Africa.
Paine was serviceable during ODIs in January, which were his first for Australia since 2011. Inconsistent results certainly aren't down to any lapses in their training schedules: Australia have trained for an hour or more after their last two games in Harare, braving plummeting mid-winter temperatures, and several players have spoken about the effect new coach Justin Langer is having.
"Usually you have eight of those [experienced] players and a couple of younger players", Langer said.
There is no change in the top three all-rounders, with Maxwell leading the field. "We'll look at everything to make sure we keep flying forward, as is the expectation of the Australian cricket team", he added. Although a healthy total built around the opening stand of 95 in 9.5 overs between D'Arcy Short (76 off 47 balls, 7 fours and 4 sixes) and Aaron Finch (47 off 27 balls, 2 fours and 3 sixes) - it required a few fielding lapses from Pakistanis and a number of hits landing in no man's land. The opener, who rose to fame with that iconic century in the Champions Trophy final against India in the English summer of 2017, continued to impress one and all with his fine ability to take on the Australian and Zimbabwean attacks with zeal that would have made Saeed Anwar proud.
The biggest positive emerging out of the last match against Australia was Shaheen Shah Afridi, who, playing only his second T20I and the first game of the series, picked up 3/37 including the wickets of Finch and Maxwell to be a deciding factor in the match.
The superb performance in the series saw him jump 44 places to No 2 with 842 points.