Rabada, De Kock move up ICC rank­ings

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

CAPE TOWN — For­mer Un­der-19 stars Kag­iso Rabada and Quin­ton de Kock have achieved ca­reer-high po­si­tions in the ICC Test player rank­ings af­ter fir­ing South Africa to an em­phatic 177-run vic­tory over Aus­tralia in the open­ing Test of the three-match series in Perth on Mon­day.

Rabada, who took 14 wick­ets in South Africa’s suc­cess­ful cam­paign in the 2014 U19 Cricket World Cup in the United Arab Emi­rates, has jumped 10 places to 20th po­si­tion in the bowlers’ ta­ble fol­low­ing fig­ures of two for 78 and five for 92, which later earned him the man-of-the­match award.

The 21-year-old is the fourth South African fast bowler to fea­ture in­side the top 20 af­ter Dale Steyn (sec­ond but ruled out of the series due to a shoul­der in­jury), Ver­non Phi­lan­der (11th) and Morne Morkel (13th).

Rabada now has Aus­tralia’s Nathan Lyon firmly within his sights as the 16th-ranked off-spin­ner is 51 points ahead. Be­cause the Jo­han­nes­burg-born fast bowler is still in his qual­i­fi­ca­tion pe­riod, he has an ex­cel­lent chance of leapfrog­ging the Aus­tralian de­pend­ing on how he per­forms in the Ho­bart and Ade­laide Tests. A bowler qual­i­fies for a full rat­ing af­ter he has taken 100 wick­ets, while Rabada has claimed 36 wick­ets in nine Tests.

De Kock, who was his coun­try’s most suc­cess­ful bats­man in the 2012 U19 Cricket World Cup in Townsville with 284 runs, scored 84 and 64 for which he has been re­warded with a jump of 11 places. This has put the left-han­der in 20th spot in the bat­ting chart.

The wick­et­keeper-bats­man has now be­come South Africa’s third bats­man to fea­ture in­side the top 20. Hashim Amla is sixth af­ter drop­ping out of the top five fol­low­ing a five-place slide, while AB de Vil­liers, who is miss­ing the series due to an in­jury, is sev­enth.

The 23-year-old De Kock looks strong to gain more points, which means he can move fur­ther up the or­der as he is still in the qual­i­fi­ca­tion pe­riod. A bats­man qual­i­fies for a full rat­ing af­ter he has played in 40 Test in­nings, while De Kock has so far scored 720 runs in 17 in­nings of 11 Tests.

The other South African play­ers to reap the ben­e­fits for stel­lar per­for­mances in the Perth Test in­clude opener Dean El­gar, who has achieved a ca­reer-high 24th po­si­tion af­ter ris­ing five places, and JP Du­miny, whose fourth ca­reer cen­tury has lifted him nine places to 38th po­si­tion. — Sport24

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