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Steyn returns to the top of Test rankings, Ashwin 3rd

Last updated on: August 31, 2016 18:08 IST

- In terms of days, Dale Steyn has spent 2,320 days at the top of the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, the most by any bowler since World War II.

Dale Steyn

IMAGE: Dale Steyn celebrates a wicket during the second Test match against New Zealand in Pretoria, on August 30, 2016. Photograph: Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images

South Africa pace bowler Dale Steyn has stormed back to the number-one position in the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers after producing a match-winning performance in the Centurion Test that has helped his side complete a 204-run victory over New Zealand on Tuesday.

Steyn, who grabbed five for 33 in the second innings in what was his 26th five-wicket haul, finished with match figures of eight for 99 to regain the top slot.

After reclaiming the No. 1 ranking in February 2014 against Australia at Centurion, the 33-year-old had enjoyed the top spot until a shoulder injury in the Durban Test against England in December 2015 limited his bowling.

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took advantage of Steyn’s absence and backed up by some strong individual performances, finished the year as the top-ranked bowler.

Steyn has leapfrogged Ashwin and top-ranked England pace bowler James Anderson to take the top slot, which he first occupied jointly with retired Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan in April 2008.

Steyn has now been number-one for a record 263 Tests with Muralitharan coming second in the list at 214 weeks. In terms of days, Steyn has spent 2,320 days at the top, the most by any bowler since World War II.

Dale Steyn

IMAGE: Dale Steyn bowls during the second Test match against New Zealand in Pretoria, on August 30, 2016. Photograph: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Steyn's compatriot fast bowlers - Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada – have also made significant gains in the latest bowlers’ rankings, which were released on Wednesday morning.

Philander, who took four wickets in the Centurion Test, has moved from 13th to 11th position, while Rabada has gained three places to rise to 27th position after grabbing five wickets in the match.

The good news for New Zealand is its fast bowler Neil Wagner has moved up one slot to ninth position following his six wickets in the match, including a first innings haul of five for 86.

In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis’s unbeaten century in the first innings has contributed in him moving up the ladder.

Du Plessis scored 112 not out and six in his two innings and has moved up nine places from 33rd rank to 24th rank. Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, who was adjudged player of the match for his knocks of 82 and 50 as well as six dismissals behind the wickets, have seen him move up 18 slots to 32nd rank.

Meanwhile, the 1-0 series win has pushed South Africa up two places to fifth in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings, while New Zealand has slipped two places to seventh.

South Africa is now on 96 points, while Sri Lanka and New Zealand are at 95 points each. However, Sri Lanka is ranked above the Black Caps in sixth place when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.

ICC Test Team Rankings (as of 31 August, after the South Africa-New Zealand series):

Rank   Team               Points

1.     Pakistan            111
2.     India                 110
3.     Australia           108
4.     England            108
5.     South Africa      96 (+2)
6.     Sri Lanka          95
7.     New Zealand    95 (-2)
8.     West Indies      67
9.     Bangladesh      57
10.   Zimbabwe          8

(Developed by David Kendix)

ICC Test Player Rankings (as of 31 August, after the South Africa-New Zealand series):

Batsmen (top 10)

Rank     (+/-)       Player                  Team     Pts         Avge      Highest Rating

   1         ( - )        Steve Smith         Aus        906       58.55    936 v Eng at Lord's 2015

   2         ( - )        Joe Root               Eng        878       54.86    917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015

   3         ( - )        K. Williamson     NZ         876       51.08    893 v Aus at Perth 2015

   4         ( - )        Hashim Amla      SA         847       51.16    907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013

   5         ( - )        Younus Khan       Pak        845        53.72    880 v SL at Lahore 2009

   6=       (+1)       Adam Voges        Aus        802*     72.75    824 v SL at Galle 2016

              ( - )        AB de Villiers     SA         802       50.46    935 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2014

   8         ( - )        Ajinkya Rahane   Ind         785!      49.00    785 v WI at Trinidad 2016

   9         (+1)       David Warner      Aus        772       48.63    880 v NZ at Perth 2015

  10        (+1)       Alastair Cook      Eng        770       47.31    874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012


Bowlers (top 10)

Rank     (+/-)       Player                  Team     Pts         Avge     Highest Rating

   1         (+2)       Dale Steyn           SA         878       22.24    909 v WI at Centurion 2014

   2         (-1)        James Anderson  Eng        870       28.28    884 v SL at Durham 2016

   3         (-1)        R.Ashwin             Ind         859       25.20    876 v WI at Antigua 2016

   4         ( - )        Stuart Broad        Eng        836       28.52    880 v SA at Johannesburg 2016

   5         ( - )        Rangana Herath   SL          831       28.71    851 v Pak at Colombo (SSC) 2014

   6         ( - )        Yasir Shah           Pak        806*     27.48    878 v Eng at Lord's 2016

   7         ( - )        Mitchell Starc     Aus        792!      27.36    792 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2016

   8         ( - )        Ravindra Jadeja   Ind         773*     23.42    789 v SA at Delhi 2015

   9         (+1)       Neil Wagner        NZ         760*!    29.12    760 v SA at Centurion 2016

  10        (-1)        Trent Boult          NZ         733       29.32    825 v Eng at Lord's 2015

All-rounders (top five)

Rank     (+/-)       Player                  Team     Pts        HS Rating

   1         ( - )        R. Ashwin            Ind         439!      439 v WI at Trinidad 2016

   2         ( - )        S. Al Hasan          Ban        384       419 v Zim at Khulna 2014

   3         ( - )        Moeen Ali           Eng        292/*!   292 v Pak at The Oval 2016

   4         ( - )        Mitchell Starc     Aus        279!      279 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2016

   5         ( - )        V. Philander        SA         264       376 v Aus at Cape Town 2014

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