ICC news December 23, 2013

Philander displaces Steyn as No. 1 Test bowler

ESPNcricinfo staff

Vernon Philander, the South Africa fast bowler, has displaced his team-mate Dale Steyn at the top of the ICC Test bowlers' rankings. Philander moved to the top after a fine showing in Johannesburg, bringing to an end Steyn's 186-match run at No. 1 - the second most by any bowler after Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan, whom Steyn overtook to the top in July 2009.

Philander, who picked up a four-for against India in the first innings and then three in the second, said that being part of a quality squad had put him at an advantage. "It has been a great couple of years for our squad. What has been the most pleasing has been the all-round contribution from everyone in the squad, that has been the main reason for our success," he said. "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."

In the batting rankings, West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who hit a century and a half-century in the three-Test series against New Zealand to finish with 256 runs at 64.00, moved up two places to No. 3. Ross Taylor, who topped the run-scoring charts in the series having hit a century in each of the three Tests, also moved up two spots to a career-best No. 4.

Click here for more on the rankings.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kendal on December 27, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    @BillyCC..you are really just fishing for reasons to try and validate your arguament. Unfortunately very little of what you say is logical, but hey, if it reinforces your own preferences, just run with it.

  • Dummy4 on December 25, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    Vern has been awesome as has Steyn over many years against everyone.Im going to make a big claim as an S.A fan but i strongly believe that Mohd Shami is one day going to be the best bowler..a small man,he is highly skilled..brisk,swings and seams the ball both ways,accuracy and control,good temperament,reverse swing.Hopefully he wont end up getting injured and become a medium pacer like many Indian quicks have done.

    Steyn's legacy is secure...how many quicks have had to carry their attack and bowl to excellent opposition witihout too many runs to defend? Imran,Kapil,Hadlee,Steyn,Donald are amongst that stellar lot...certainly S.A now has very strong batting but thats only been in the last 2 to 3 years.

  • Michael on December 25, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    @ssenthil I agree with your comment entirely, except the last part. Steyn definitely is one of the great bowlers, but not the best ever!

  • Billy on December 25, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    @ssenthil, let's talk facts and stats about the greatest fast bowlers of all time. A list of bowlers who have records better than Steyn: Marshall, Ambrose, Garner, Barnes, McGrath, Hadlee, Trueman, and Donald. You only need to analyse him vs McGrath to realise that it's a no contest. McGrath's record dominates Steyn's in every way no matter how you slice it: performances in subcontinent, performances in swinging conditions (England/NZ), performances away from home, performances in first and second innings etc. Steyn has an advantage in home conditions and in South African wins, but McGrath does way better even in Australian draws and losses. And let's not talk about strike rate. McGrath takes 8 balls longer to take a wicket but his average spell is 2 or 3 overs longer than Steyn's given the energy expended. The bonus is that even after the longer spell, he gives away less runs than Steyn per wicket. For Steyn, it's simple, improve the average to 21 and then he will be the greatest.

  • Dummy4 on December 25, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    I support the Proteas but their record of breaking our hearts in those crunch moments is horrendous. They deserve all the stick they get for that horrible decision making in those last 3 overs and for Smith to shift blame is horrible. Based purely on this he does not deserve to win a major title cause that was just a spineless display of a winning mentality. I will forget all we've achieved and will remember that we did not dominate because this was the type of thinking he was applying during those times.

    I hope they lose in Durban and Graeme is sacked we need a new captain with Waugh or Ponting's mentality.

  • Senthil on December 25, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    @IPSY, Why should I have to keep within his era? I said that last match is his WORST match of his test career. Everyone will have 1 or 2 bad matches. Whatever the reason, he will comeback hard at India in Durban. Steyn has bowled against even more strong batsman on their own backyard. Forgot Nagpur and Kanpur matches? Just look at his stats, where the pitches were flat, Flat enough to chase down 414 and even 458. No real intimating batsman? You should never look beyond Sehwag who has the bestest Strike rate in Tests then all the people you have mentioned. Get your FACTS right. He has destroyed Sehwag many a times. He has bowled against the best Test batsman of all time such as Sachin, Ponting, Hyden, Gilly, Dravid, Laxman, KP, Mr Cricket etc., Of all people how many of them averaging and having a SR better then the people mentioned here? KP humiliate Steyn? have you ever checked all the stats? IF NOT go and check before commenting. Steyn is all time greatest fast bowler.

  • victoria on December 25, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    No Australian is so silly to say that Johnson is a better bowler than Steyn. And Protears, I don't think much about any batsman who takes all of half of Sir Don Bradman's career, trying desperately to score a 100 and can't do it! I have the greatest respect for the Gt Rahul 'The Wall' Dravid, but he's not intimidating. Sehwag is only intimidating on the bowlers' graveyards in India. Matt Hayden should have been on my original list with Kevin Pietersen as intimidating batsmen, and he dealt with Hayden when he had to. REMEMBER MY CONTENTION IS THAT THE GUYS TO WHOM HE HAS BEEN BOWLING ARE JUST SOFTIES!

  • Dummy4 on December 24, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    I'm thrilled for Vernon, congratulations! He's been a class act for South Africa, silencing his critics slowly and systematically and always performing for our team (even with the bat), and I've no doubt he'll silence those who think he doesn't deserve to be number one. That said, I'm also thrilled to see what Steyn will do in Durban to get his title back. Would never compare these two, they're completely different bowlers, but they're both awesome, and they both deserve to be at the top.

  • Hey on December 24, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    Steyn>Philander.. One is World class whilst the other is up there with the Akram, Younis, Hadlee, Ambrose, Holding...

  • Wesley on December 24, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    I find myself infuriated by comments on this website, the lay cricket supporter without any inkling of common sense. @Ipsy Steyn has bowled against the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid, Sehwag, Laxman, Pietersen, Cook, Bell, Collingwood, Trott, Vaughn, Strauss, Lara, Chanderpaul, Ponting, Clarke, Gilchrist, Hayden, Hussey and the list goes on, he has a better away average than home average and has held the number one ranking for that time because he is that good, troll along, Ashwin is the bowler with serious question marks to be answered, 9 wickets in 5 tests abroad at over 70 and SR over 150 balls.

    Those calling Steyn and Philander one dimensional should give me examples of current bowlers that are better.

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