Rankings news February 4, 2013

South Africa players top all Test rankings

ESPNcricinfo staff

South Africa's current dominance of the Test scene is highlighted by the updated player rankings which give them the No. 1 batsmen, bowler and allrounder in the format.

Hashim Amla, who is also the No. 1 ODI batsman, jumped above Michael Clarke after the Johannesburg Test to complete the trio. Dale Steyn, who was Man of the Match after a career-best 11 wickets, and Jacques Kallis consolidated their respective No. 1 positions.

Amla made 37 and an unbeaten 74 at the Wanderers to move eight points above Clarke. Kallis had a solid all-round match, scoring a first-innings fifty then chipped in with three wickets.

"I am surprised and happy with my position as the No.1 ranked Test batsman. However, I'm also mindful that rankings change quite regularly," Amla said. "It's been a great year for our squad, and to be honest I still don't think that I am the best batsman in our team.

"What has been most pleasing though for us has been the all-round contribution from everyone in the squad that has been the main reason for our success over the last few years.

"Needless to say, it is always easier to be at the top of your game and successful when you are part of a winning team. Dale and Jacques have been tireless workhorses for the Proteas and continue to consistently put in quality performances for our team, it is no wonder that they are at the top of the bowling and all-rounder rankings."

Steyn's outstanding match, to follow a productive series against New Zealand, has given him a new career-best ranking of 908 to put him comfortably ahead of Vernon Philander in second position. There are almost 100 points between Steyn and the third-ranked bowler, Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath.

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  • Dummy4 on February 7, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    I am very impressed by this current SA team. The subcontinent is their last big test and in my opinion i think they would definitely beat all the subcontinental powerhouses on their own turf, with or without a specialist spinner. I would say this test team will be the team to beat for the next decade or two.

  • Gavin on February 6, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    @short_cover Are you aware steyns previous best was in india right? In fact SA play away from home more than at home so your theory is complete BS. It takes real talent to stay the workds number one bowler for 3 years plus. If he is over rated, then every other bowler should not be rated at all. THx for listening.

  • Irfan on February 6, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    I know my comments might get taken negatively. But I'll give it anyways. Amla is only getting started and there has/is/will be no one like Kallis's talent as an all-rounder. I do feel that bowlers like Steyn are heavily over-rated... even in statistical terms. For a bowler to rely so much on swing is a sign of their dependency on certain conditions only. Remember, there have been bowlers in the world who got the ball to swing in All conditions and not just in the Eng/SA/Aus/NZ. Infact, the main difference b/w Steyn and J. Anderson is pace, otherwise they are exactly the same bowlers. In contrast, look at his record in UAE during last years Pak/SA Test seriies. He was just another bowler, literally. While here, he becomes a revelation. So if a bowler's performance sways this much only due to conditions, I have a hard time rating him. And since he plays mostly on wickets that support 'his' bowling, the stats soar.

  • Michael on February 6, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    If one was to combine the Aussie team of the late 90's - mid 2000's and the current Saffa team their would be 6 Aussies and 5 Saffas. Pretty even balance. Smith (c), Hayden, Amla, Ponting, Kallis, Waugh (vc), Gilcrest, Steyn, Philander, McGrath & Warne

    Back up players would be Martyn, Langer, Faf & AB de Villiers

  • varsha on February 6, 2013, 0:50 GMT

    @din7 - why do you attribute the Protea's win against Oz to luck? That demonstrates you bias against SA. When SA come back to save or win a match/series, then it is by sheer "luck" that they win. But over the years, whenever other teams would come from behind to beat SA, it wasn't because of "luck", it was because SA "choked"? What drivel.

    Give credit where credit is due. A lot of people like to brandish that "choking" word - but fail to realize that you have to be a *consistently* strong team to begin with to even get into great position, or finals to lose from. But lose double standards and call a spade a spade, when SA comes from behind to pip the opposition, don't call it luck, call it the opposition choking!

  • Shipu on February 5, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    lool!!! Hafeez labelled by ICC as "best all-rounder in the world" exposed by South Africa what kind of player he really is. His 4 wicket haul was against tailnders so nothing special. Just want to warn Hafeez that Shakib is after you and is going to regain both his number 1 position in ODIs and Tests next month he's getting ready so enjoy that undeserving position as much as you can now because its going to change hands soon.

  • Anit on February 5, 2013, 20:31 GMT

    There is no doubt that Kallis is up there with other greatest all-rounders in cricket. His achievements are phenomenal. I would rate him as the greatest all-rounder cricket has ever produced along with Gary Sobers. His batting records alone can get him to be one of the all time batting greats. Amla is also getting in Ponting, SRT, Dravid league in batting.

  • Srinivas on February 5, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    Look at his modesty - he thinks he isn't even the best batsman in the team let alone in the world. I mean, looks like modesty and humbleness have no limits when it comes to Hashim Amla. All the very best to you Hashim. You made us Indians proud with your Indian Ancestory. What could anybody say about Steyn and his mastery of the 22 yards with the cherry in his hand, sent down with pace, swing, accuracy and no mercy? What a pacer. An able replacement to the Mighty White Lightning. Kallis, the one and only Kallis. Hate him for those two centuries he scored against us (India) in the final test and was THE difference between series drawn vs series loss to South Africa. Walks into my team first, then and only then, other batsmen will be drafted in. Absolute delight to have followed Kallis. I'm very glad for Proteas for their success. Congratulations to Team South Africa and all the South African fans.

  • ahson on February 5, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    There is no doubt that south africa is best test team today.but all it depends on individual player's contribution and unity and understanding between each other.as far as south africa stays away from controversies they will be no 1

  • Suraj on February 5, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    This is undeniably the best ever South African test side that are tipped to dominate the world game in the test arena for many years to come. There are at least 5 players from the current side that would get into an all time South Africa test XI. Pakistan are a solid, consistently performing unit under their current captain, however it's more through the qualities of team work, tactical nous, collective efforts, structured game plans and a stable environment that has contributed to their success as opposed to individual talent or sheer natural ability of an individual person. There is a debate that Younis and Ajmal will get into an all time Pakistan XI, but still it would take some convincing for others. The difference between the sides in sheer superiority, recognition and natural ability needs no further explanation.