Proteas need 'sweep' for No 1

2011-08-17 12:14
Graeme Smith (Gallo)
Rob Houwing Sport24, chief writer

Cape Town – The good news is that South Africa, presently third, could recapture top spot on the ICC Test rankings from England as early as the looming home summer.

Slightly more sobering, though, is that to do so they will be required to clean sweep their respective 2011/12 guests, Australia and Sri Lanka, 2-0 and 3-0, to leapfrog Andrew Strauss’s currently impressive side.

The Proteas, a little disappointingly, only play two Tests against the Aussies in early season (both during November, Newlands and Wanderers) before going on to entertain the Lankans in the “peak” summer of December and January with Tests at Centurion, Kingsmead and Newlands again respectively.

And a 5-0 clean-up appears to be the minimum requirement for them to recapture No 1, if reports out of England are to be believed.

In the shorter term, South Africa can re-advance to No 2 by this weekend if England complete their own 4-0 series whitewash over the disappointing Indians at the Oval, thus banishing MS Dhoni’s side to third on the ICC list.

England’s next Test series will only be against Pakistan in the neutral United Arab Emirates in January and February, by which time they could have been pipped to No 1 if Graeme Smith’s side really hit their straps on home turf ahead of that.

The Proteas, of course, will be under the coaching command of Gary Kirsten, who took India not only to No 1 in the Test arena but also to World Cup success earlier this year before returning to more familiar habitat.

 South Africa’s home Test record has been moderate for several summers, with defeat to Australia in the 2008/09 season – it rather undid their heroics in winning Down Under just ahead of it – followed by a 1-1 outcome with England in 2009/10 and a similar result against India in 2010/11. 

Read more on:    graeme smith  |  proteas

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Thursday, 27 July 2017
England v South Africa, London 12:00
Friday, 04 August 2017
England v South Africa, Manchester 12:00
Thursday, 28 September 2017
South Africa v Bangladesh, Potchefstroom 10:00
Previous Results

Date Match Result

Proteas batsman AB de Villiers has ruled himself out of the upcoming Test series against England. Should he just retire?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The Proteas are currently on tour in England, involved in a four-Test series with their hosts. How will they fare? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.