ICC news July 25, 2012

South Africans rise up Test rankings after Oval victory

ESPNcricinfo staff

South Africa's batsmen have surged up the ICC Test rankings to occupy four of the top six spots after their colossal performance in the first Test at The Oval. Jacques Kallis is at No. 2, Hashim Amla (3), AB de Villiers (5) and Graeme Smith (6). Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara remained No. 1, while Shivnarine Chanderpaul dropped two spots to No. 4. Kallis also unseated Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan as the No. 1 allrounder in Tests.

Kallis' unbeaten 182 in South Africa's 637 for 2 moved him up from No. 4 in the ranking for Test batsmen. Amla, whose 311 was a South African record, rose three places while Smith climbed four places from tenth. De Villiers, who did not get an opportunity to bat in the innings-and-12-run victory, dropped two spots from third.

Among the England batsmen, Alastair Cook moved from ninth to eighth because of the 115 he scored in the first innings at The Oval.

There were significant gains for South Africa's bowlers as well after they took 20 wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series. Dale Steyn, who took seven wickets in the match, consolidated his place at No. 1 and is six points short of his career best rating - 902, which he achieved against Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park in 2011.

Morne Morkel's five wickets lifted him from tenth to joint sixth with Australia's Ben Hilfenhaus, while Vernon Philander rose one spot to fourth place.

All of England's bowlers, who took only two wickets in 189 overs, dropped in the rankings. James Anderson went from No. 2 to No. 5, Stuart Broad from third to ninth and Tim Bresnan slid one place to No. 15. Graeme Swann's wicketless performance cost him three places from No. 8 and he dropped out of the top ten for the first time since August 2009.

South Africa need to win the series by any margin to take the No. 1 Test ranking from England.