Proteas in England
Proteas boss ICC rankings
Dale Steyn (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Purely based on their current command of the ICC Test player rankings, it seems reasonably logical that South Africa ought to also shift to the top of the team leader-board very shortly indeed.
Fresh from their innings thrashing of top-ranked England at The Oval, the Proteas are guaranteed to leap from No 3 - presently just behind England and Australia in that order - to the loftiest berth if they ensure an early series triumph by beating Andrew Strauss’s side in the second Test at Headingley from next Thursday.
If they do return to pick of the team crop, it will be heavily reflected also by the clear edge they boast over any other nation in the individual Test rankings.
Following an update to the lists after the crushing first-Test win, South Africa sports four of the top six berths in batting (Jacques Kallis second, Hashim Amla third, AB de Villiers fifth and captain Graeme Smith sixth), and three of the top six as far as bowling is concerned.
Here Dale Steyn continues to rule the roost very comfortably, his seven wickets at The Oval - including another five-wicket haul in England’s second innings - ensuring that he has a rating figure of 896, some way clear of second-placed Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan (832).
Vernon Philander lies fourth and Morné Morkel sixth.
If England are to topple from their No 1 perch, there will again be evidence of their difficulties through the individual rankings.
They now have nobody among the top six in batting, with Alastair Cook (a mixed bag of 115 and 0 in The Oval Test) their best-placed customer in eighth.
As far as bowling is concerned, James Anderson lies fifth ... he was England’s best bowler statistically (1/116) in South Africa’s freak lone innings of 637 for two declared in the first Test, where Amla (311 not out) and Kallis (182 not out) did so much to boost their own rankings health.
Stuart Broad has sunk to ninth after going wicketless in 34 overs against the Proteas.Here are the “top sixes”:Batting:
1 Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) 892 points, 2 Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
874, 3 Hashim Amla (South Africa)
872, 4 Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies) 856, 5 AB de Villiers (South Africa)
821, 6 Graeme Smith (South Africa)
1 Dale Steyn (South Africa)
896 points, 2 Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan) 832, 3 Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka) 782, 4 Vernon Philander (South Africa)
774, 5 James Anderson (England) 765, 6 Morné Morkel (South Africa)
and Ben Hilfenhaus (Australia) 756.
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