Rabada and Hazlewood make impressive gains
Pace bowlers Josh Hazlewood of Australia and Kagiso Rabada of South Africa have attained career-best rankings in the latest MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers after excellent efforts that helped their sides to convincing victories in the Sydney and Cape Town Tests.
Hazlewood has moved up two slots to third place with a match haul of seven for 94 in the Sydney Test, which Australia won by 220 runs on Saturday to complete a 3-0 whitewash over Pakistan.
Hazlewood, who turned out for Australia in the ICC U19 World Cups 2008 and 2010, has gained 29 points to reach 860 points and is not far behind the India spin pair of Ravichandran Ashwin (887 points) and Ravindra Jadeja (879 points).
Rabada has gained nine slots to reach eighth position after his player of the match performance of 10-92 in the second Test in Cape Town that helped South Africa defeat Sri Lanka by 282 runs on Friday to take a winning 2-0 lead.
Rabada, who took 14 wickets in South Africa’s successful campaign in the ICC U19 World Cup 2014 in the UAE, has gained 144 points to reach 796 points, within seven points of England pace bowler Stuart Broad.
There was good news for other pace bowlers too as Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz and the Sri Lanka pair of Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Kumara also attained career-best rankings.
Wahab’s four wickets in Sydney have seen him enter the top 20 for the first time as he has moved up five slots from 25th position. Lakmal’s six wickets have helped him move up six places to 30th position, while Kumara’s seven wickets have helped him gain 39 places to reach 67th rank.
In the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has continued to rise after scoring 101 and 29 in Cape Town. The wicket-keeper batsman has not only moved up one slot to a career-best eighth position but is now also the leading batsman from his country, ahead of AB de Villiers (ninth rank) and Hashim Amla (10th rank).
Pakistan batsman Younus Khan’s scores of 175 not out and 13 have enabled him to gain seven slots and reach seventh rank in the Steve Smith-led list, even as Australia’s Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb and South Africa’s Dean Elgar have attained career-best Khawaja has moved up two slots to 11th place after scoring 13 and 79 not out, Handscomb’s 110 and 40 not out have helped him gain 17 slots to reach 38th position, while Elgar has gained 11 places to reach 21st position with scores of 129 and 55.