Kagiso Rabada Becomes World’s Highest Ranked Test Bowler
South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada (888 points) on Saturday became the No 1 ranked bowler in the ICC Test Player rankings after he helped South Africa to a 72-run victory over India in the first Test at Newlands on Monday. Rabada returned with figures of three for 34 and two for 41 against a star-studded India batting line-up in the first and second innings respectively. Due to his stellar performance, the 22-year-old collected five points, while James Anderson (887 points), who had entered the Sydney Test as the number-one ranked bowler, dropped by the same number of points following the last Ashes Test. After the latest Test rankings, Rabada is one point clear of Anderson.
Commenting on his rank, Rabada said, “It’s special to be ranked as the No.1 Test bowler in the world. It is a surreal feeling. It’s what you dream of achieving when you start playing the game.”
“Cricket is ultimately a team sport and I’m thankful for the support from my team mates. It’s a great start to the year personally and for us as a team, hopefully we can continue putting in winning performances,” Rabada further added.
Apart from Rabada, Vernon Philander (806 points) is the other South African bowler who is placed inside the top 20 ranking as he made an impressive gain.
Philander, who received the man of the match award, finished the first Test with figures of nine for 75 as he earned 67 points to jump from 12th to sixth position.
Philander now trails Australia’s sixth-ranked Josh Hazlewood (814 points) by eight points and has an opportunity to break into the top-five following the Centurion Test.
Outside the top-20, India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Pat Cummins of Australia have achieved career-high rankings.
Bhuvneshwar has vaulted eight places to 22nd following figures of four for 87 and two for 33 in first and second innings respectively, while Cummins has leaped eight places and is now in 28th position after match figures of eight for 119, which also earned him the player of the match award.