South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has regained the No. 1 spot in the ICC’s Test rankings for bowlers, following his match haul of 11 for 150 against Australia in Port Elizabeth, which helped South Africa level the series. Rabada has also crossed 900 ranking points for the first time in the career – he’s the fourth South African bowler after Vernon Philander, Shaun Pollock and Dale Steyn – and now sits on 902, which is 15 points above England’s James Anderson.
Rabada’s peak in the rankings comes a day after he picked up four demerit points for two separate incidents during the second Test against Australia. Consequently, the fast bowler was handed a two-Test ban and will miss the rest of the series against Australia, unless South Africa can successfully appeal against it. He is three more demerit points away from a third ban in his career. On Monday the fast bowler, who now has four ten-wicket match hauls in 28 Tests and spearheads South Africa’s pace attack, conceded that he “can’t keep doing this” and needed to reassess his conduct.
Among other players involved in the series, batsman AB de Villiers and Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc have had significant changes in their rankings. De Villiers’ scores of 126* and 28 in the second Test have pushed him five places up and back into the top ten of the batsmen’s rankings, where he has displaced Pakistan’s Azhar Ali at No. 7. Mitchell Starc, who managed only one wicket in the second Test, has dropped four places to No. 9. Vernon Philander has dropped a spot to No. 8 among bowlers, but has gained one to break into the top five among Test allrounders.