Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Cape Town – He has hogged the mantle for
years, but at least for the time being Jacques Kallis is no longer the world’s ICC
top-ranked all-rounder in Test cricket.
The veteran Proteas star has been toppled
by Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan following completion this week of that nation’s
two-Test home series – the perennial strugglers were beaten 2-0 – against
Shakib, 24, the left-handed batsman and
left-arm spinner, has often fought a near-lone crusade for the minnows and in
the final Test at Dhaka, struck 144 in his team’s first innings and then
followed it up with similarly stellar figures six for 82 in the visitors’ own
His dual prominence shot him above Kallis
to a rating, in terms of the ICC formula, of 404 – narrowly ahead of the 36-year-old
Kallis on 397.
Kallis, in turn, remains a comfortable 12
ratings points clear of New Zealander Daniel Vettori (385) in third.
Slipping a notch is an extra incentive for
the Proteas stalwart to shine over the remaining course of the series against
Sri Lanka, resuming with the second Test in Durban from Boxing Day.
In grabbing the lead, Shakib also becomes
the youngest all-rounder since Kallis himself in 2000 (aged 25 then) to top the
category and the first Bangladeshi to head any of the three personal Test-level
lists, also featuring best batsmen and best bowlers sections.
Of course he is not yet able to hold a
candle to Kallis for overall figures and longevity of wonderful service: the
South African boasts 12 036 Test runs at 56.77 and 271 wickets at 32.50.
Shakib, who has only played 26 Tests, has
registered 1 630 runs at 34.68 and 96 wickets at 31.36.
*Kallis is also at No 2 on the Test batsmen
list (rating 839) behind Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara (844), so that duel also
adds some spice to the looming Kingsmead encounter.