Dale Steyn back as No. 1 bowler, Mitchell Johnson rises to fourth place
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New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum’s spectacular match-saving knock of 302 in the Wellington Test against India has helped him jump eight places to a career-best 12th in the latest Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen.
McCullum, who became the first New Zealand batsman to score a triple hundred, helped draw the second and final Test in Wellington on Tuesday, to thereby win the series 1-0.
McCullum’s partner in a world record sixth-wicket partnership worth 352, BJ Watling, has also moved up the rankings, jumping three places to 45th as a result of his knock of 124.
McCullum, named the Player of the Match in the Wellington Test, shares 12th position with Australia’s David Warner (up by three). Warner scored 115 in the second innings of the first Test against South Africa at Centurion, a match won by his side by 281 runs.
Meanwhile, India’s Virat Kohli has moved up two places to a career-high of ninth, following knocks of 38 and 105 not out in the Wellington Test, to break into the top 10 of the batting table for the first time in his career.
Kohli joins seventh-ranked teammate Cheteshwar Pujara (down by one) as the only two India batsmen inside the top 10.
Two other centurions in the Wellington Test have also made upward moves in the latest table, Ajinkya Rahane is now in 46th (up by 15), while New Zealand’s debutant century-maker Jimmy Neesham has entered the rankings in 59th place. Neesham shares the position with fellow first-timer Alex Doolan of Australia.
Australia’s Shaun Marsh, meanwhile, has made a return to the table in 63rd position following scores of 148 and 44 in the Centurion Test against South Africa.
South Africa’s AB de Villiers continues to top the batting table, followed by Kumar Sangakkara in second position and Shivnarine Chanderpaul of West Indies in third place.
Johnson continues to storm the charts
Australia’s Mitchell Johnson has continued to storm through the charts in the latest Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers. Johnson has jumped five places to fourth following his spectacular match-winning haul of 12 for 127 in the Centurion Test against South Africa.
Johnson, named Player of the Match for his 12-wicket haul, has enjoyed a spectacular run this season and now has a total of 49 wickets from six successive Tests.
Johnson, who first entered the top ten of the bowlers’ table in November 2008, reached a career-best second in March 2009. The left-arm fast bowler remained a permanent fixture in the top five until October 2010.
Vernon Philander has ceded the number-one position in the bowlers’ table to teammate Dale Steyn after a 55-day reign at the top.
Philander, who became the number-one ranked bowler on 22 December 2013, picked up one wicket in the Centurion Test to drop 11 ratings points and finish on 898, three ratings points behind Steyn.
South Africa’s spearhead Steyn, who had figures of four for 78 and two for 61 in either innings of the Centurion Test, has retained his pre-series ratings points.
Steyn first reached the number-one position on 3 April 2008 when he drew level with Muttiah Muralidaran for one week. He regained the top spot in July 2009 when he overtook Muralidaran.
Thereafter, Steyn spent 187 matches or 1630 days as the top-ranked bowler, the second-most number of matches at the top to date after Muralidaran. Steyn’s run was ended when Philander overtook him in December 2013.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Ryan Harris continues to be the highest-ranked bowler for his side, after retaining his pre-series third position.
This means that when the second Test between South Africa and Australia gets underway on Thursday in Port Elizabeth, the top four ranked bowlers will be seen in action, with Peter Siddle in sixth position (down by one) closely following them.
New Zealand’s Tim Southee moved up a place to a career-best ninth following his match haul of five for 143 in the Wellington Test against India. Southee is now on 757 ratings points, just 10 behind eighth-ranked teammate Trent Boult.
South Africa v Australia
20-24 February: Second Test, Port Elizabeth
1-5 March: Third Test, Cape Town
To find out exactly how the forthcoming series will affect the Rankings Table, please click here. The Test Ranking Table, unlike the ODI and T20I Rankings tables, are updated after every series.
Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings table (as on 18 February, after the New Zealand v India series)
Rank (+/-) Team Rating (+/-)
1 South Africa 133
2 (-) India 112 (-5)
3 Australia 111
4 England 107
5 Pakistan 100
6 Sri Lanka 89
7 (+1) New Zealand 87 (+5)
8 (-1) West Indies 87
9 Zimbabwe 34
10 Bangladesh 19