SA in New Zealand
Smith back in top 10
Graeme Smith (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Graeme Smith
has returned to the Top 10 of the ICC Test Rankings, after the drawn first Test against New Zealand at the University Oval in Dunedin.
Smith’s match return of 168 runs including his 24th career Test century shot him up six positions to No 9 on the table.
The Proteas captain has been in encouraging form for the Test unit since the start of the season in October, and currently averages 52 in the six matches to date.Jacques Kallis
remains in second place after scoring his 42nd career century, which has also moved him to second place behind Sachin Tendulkar on the all-time list of most Test centuries. His performance has closed the gap between him and the first-placed Kumar Sangakkara to just 4 rating points, and more big scores during the series should see him pass Sangakarra as Sri Lanka are busy with ODI cricket in the Asia Cup. Vernon Philander
continues to make a rapid rise up the rankings and has moved up by a further three positions to No 16. He came within a wicket of taking his fifth five-wicket haul in as many matches during New Zealand’s first innings, and was still impressive in his first Test match abroad.
The Proteas are out of the running for the top spot on the ICC Test Championship table with the result against New Zealand making it impossible to over-take the first-placed England.
But South Africa will have the opportunity to play for the No 1 position when they take on England in a much anticipated three-match series in July, which should capture the world’s attention as it could essentially be a Test final.