Faf Du Plessis and JP Duminy have achieved career-best rankings after inspiring South Africa to a 153 runs victory over Sri Lanka in Galle. Du Plessis scored 80 and 37 for which he has been rewarded with a jump of four places that has put him in 17th position. Duminy’s fourth career century has given him a lift of 13 places and has put him in 31st position.
However, South Africa captain Hashim Amla has lost his second position and has fallen three places to fifth. A strong performance in the Colombo Test will potentially help him return into the top three. Among the fast bowlers, Dale Styen’s nine wickets in the match has earned him eight ratings points which has helped him once again break the 900-point barrier. He is now on 906 ratings points, just two ratings points short of his career-best rating, which he had achieved against Pakistan last year in Johannesburg.
Sri Lanka’s Dilruwan Perera was the other impressive bowler in the first Test. The 32-year-old, who has represented Sri Lanka in the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007, has jumped 15 places to 39th position. He took eight wickets in the match for 241 runs.
The Proteas’ victory in Galle has left them on the verge reclaiming the number-one position on the Reliance ICC Test Team Table. South Africa now needs to draw the Colombo Test to move ahead of Australia by a fraction of a point. However, if Sri Lanka bounces back with a victory, then South Africa will slip to 120 Ratings Points – three behind Australia – while Sri Lanka with move to 99 ratings points.
Meanwhile, India’s 95 runs win against England at Lord’s on Monday, only its second at the home of cricket in 82 years, has seen its young players make noticeable improvements on the ICC Test Player Rankings. India leads the five-Test series with the third Test to start in Southampton on 27 July. Players to make an upward movement following the historic win include man of the match Ishant Sharma, fellow fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, opener Murali Vijay and middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane.
In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Ishant Sharma, has returned to the top 20 for the first time in nearly three years. Following his match figures of seven for 135, including seven for 74 in the second innings. The towering Delhi bowler has jumped three places to 20th position.
Sharma was last in 20th position following the third Test against the West Indies in Mumbai. Sharma now trails off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (11th), the highest-ranked India bowler, by 139 ratings points. The 24-year-old Kumar, in his maiden Test at Lord’s, returned match figures of 47-17-103-6, including six for 82 in the first innings.
He has vaulted 12 places to claim 34th position with team-mate Ravindra Jadeja in 28th position firmly within his sights. In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, Vijay has rocketed 11 places to claim 19th position following his contributions of 24 and 95. This is his career-best ranking to date.
Vijay is the third India batsman behind Cheteshwar Pujara (eighth) and Virat Kohli (14th) to feature inside the top 20. Rahane, who scored a masterly 103 in the first innings, has gained 11 places on the table and is now sitting in 35th position. Despite ending up on the losing side, there is some positive news from the England camp with James Anderson and some of its young guns continuing to make upward movement.
Anderson, who returned figures of four for 60 and one for 77, has leaped five places to return to the top 10 in eighth position, while Ben Stokes, who took five for 91, has claimed 11 places to rise to 41st position. Liam Plunkett is also on the move following his four wickets and he is now in 45th position after earning five places. Amongst England batsmen to head in the right direction, Joe Root has gained one more place and is now in 15th position following scores of 13 and 66, while Gary Ballance has stormed inside the top 50 by rising 23 places to claim 47th spot. Moeen Ali has earned 16 places and is now in 83rd position.