Kagiso Rabada replaces Dale Steyn as South Africa cricket team’s No.1 Test bowler
Kagiso Rabada’s strong performances in the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka made him South Africa cricket team’s highest-ranked Test bowler, moving him one place above Dale Steyn.cricket Updated: Jan 17, 2017 16:50 IST
Kagiso Rabada’s strong performances in the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka made him South Africa cricket team’s highest-ranked Test bowler, moving him one place above Dale Steyn., who is currently recuperating from the shoulder fracture he suffered during his side’s tour of Australia in November.
Kagiso Rabada, who was one of South Africa’s stars in its ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2014 triumph, stole the bowling limelight when he returned with the figures of three for 44 and two for 50.
For this performance, he has earned a rise of three places which has put him in fifth position in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers.
Kagiso Rabada now leads Dale Steyn by two points and trails Sri Lanka’s fourth-ranked spinner Rangana Herath by six points.
For Sri Lanka, the only good news is the rise of fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep, who has leaped six places to a career-best 33rd spot following figures of four for 78 in South Africa’s only innings.
South Africa defeated Sri Lanka by an innings and 118 runs in Johannesburg, which gave it a 3-0 series win. The result means third-ranked South Africa has gained four points and has moved up to 107 points, two behind Australia, while seventh-ranked Sri Lanka has dropped four points to finish on 92 points.
The six centurions from the recently concluded Test matches in Johannesburg and Wellington have also been rewarded with impressive movements in the latest ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen.
South Africa’s Hashim Amla, who while scoring 134 became the eighth batsman to score a century in his 100th Test, has jumped four places to claim sixth position, while JP Duminy, who scored 155 and added 292 runs for the third wicket with Amla, has vaulted nine places to secure a career-high 33rd position.
Captain Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar, who won the player of the series award, finished in joint-21st position.
Shakib Al Hasan, who scored 217 (highest individual score by a Bangladesh batsman in Test cricket) has achieved a career-high ranking of 23rd after jumping eight places, while captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored 159 and put on 359 runs for the fifth wicket with Shakib, has risen 10 places to claim 35th position.
New Zealand’s 539-run response to Bangladesh’s 595-8d revolved around left-handed opener Tom Latham who scored 177. This performance is notable in the latest rankings as he has climbed five places to 31st.
After New Zealand was set a victory target of 217 runs, captain Kane Williamson stroked an undefeated 104 to help his side romp home with seven wickets to spare. For this achievement, fourth-ranked Williamson has earned 29 points which has put him just two points shy of third-ranked Joe Root. If Williamson performs strongly at the Hagley Oval, then he will potentially return to number-three ranking.
Although the Test team rankings are updated at the end of a series, New Zealand has placed itself nicely to move ahead of Pakistan in team rankings. However, to make it happen, it will have to win the Christchurch Test which starts on Friday.
If New Zealand wins the Test, then it will move one point ahead of Pakistan, while in case of a draw, it will join Pakistan on 97 points but will be behind by a fraction of a point.
First Published: Jan 17, 2017 16:50 IST