Australia in SA

Steyn back as No 1 bowler

2014-02-19 14:26
Dale Steyn (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Dale Steyn has returned to the No 1 position on the ICC rankings for Test bowlers following the Proteas' latest Test against Australia.

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Steyn, who registered figures of 4-78 and 2-61 in Centurion last weekend, replaced compatriot Vernon Philander at the top.

Philander, who became the No 1-ranked bowler on December 22 last year, picked up one wicket in the Test to drop 11 ratings points and finish on 898, three points behind Steyn, who retained his pre-series points total.

Steyn first reached the No 1 position on April 3, 2008 when he drew level with Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan for one week. He regained the top spot in July 2009 when he overtook Muralitharan.

Thereafter, Steyn spent 187 matches or 1 630 days as the top-ranked bowler, the second-most number of matches at the top to date after Muralitharan. Steyn’s run was ended when Philander overtook him in December 2013.

However, the biggest mover in the rankings was Australia’s Mitchell Johnson who continued to storm through the charts.

Johnson jumped five places to fourth following his spectacular match-winning haul of 12-127 in the Centurion Test as his side thumped South Africa by 281 runs.

Johnson, named man of the match for his heroics, 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.

Johnson's team-mate, Ryan Harris, continues to be the highest-ranked bowler for his side after retaining his pre-series position of No 3.

CLICK HERE for a full list of ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers.

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